April 7, 2017 - 11 Nisan 5777 - Tzav
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Matzah Factory
Pillo Polo
Lost and Found
Yom Orchim
Global Unity Torah
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Mon, April 10-
Wed, April 19
Pesach Break
No School
Thurs, April 20
Classes resume

Tues, May 2
3:00 p.m. Dismissal
Sun, May 7
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 a.m.
Fri, May 19
Yom Orchim

Tues, May 23
3:00 p.m. Dismissal
As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
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Dear Parents,

We had a great week at school preparing for Pesach! We wish you a wonderful holiday and break!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.  Note that our next newsletter will be sent on April 28 (the week after Pesach).  Best wishes for a chag kasher v'sameach!

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman

It's going to be difficult for everyone not to hear or learn about arvut as often during Pesach vacation as we do every day here at Maimonides. Not to worry! Here are two Pesach seder arvut divrei Torah:
1. During Magid, we recite the following verse:
וַיְעַנּוּנוּ. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּים לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם. וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מִסְכְּנוֹת לְפַרְעֹה. אֶת-פִּתֹם וְאֶת-רַעַמְסֵס.
"And they made us suffer," as it is said: "They set taskmasters over him to make him suffer with their burdens, and they built storage cities for Pharaoh, Pitom and Ramses."
Looking closely at this verse, we are told that the Egyptians placed on him וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו- taskmasters. Since the verse is talking about all the Jewish people, it should say that the taskmasters were placed on them, in the plural, not on him, in the singular. The הגדה כי ישאלך answers that part of the plan of the Egyptians was to divide the Jewish people into two social classes. The wealthy Jewish people were not tasked with difficult labor, while other classes were forced into slavery. The Egyptians hoped that this would cause a rift amongst the people and cause internal unrest. However, their dastardly plan went for naught. The togetherness and arvut the people demonstrated to each other thwarted the Egyptians' scheme. Therefore, the pasuk says that they placed on him taskmasters, to show the Jewish people's unwavering commitment to their fellow Jew.
2. A story:
A wealthy merchant in Pressberg once visited the Chatam Sofer to complain about his recent financial troubles and ask for a blessing from the great sage. The Chatam Sofer said, "I heard that your brother has fallen on hard times. He has a large family and you did not help him at all." Respectfully the merchant answered, "Rabbi, I just told you that I do not have as much money anymore. How can I possibly assist others at this time?"
The Chatam Sofer answered that the pasuk referring to G-d hearkening to the cries of the Jewish people in Egypt states that:
וְגַם | אֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת נַאֲקַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר מִצְרַיִם מַעֲבִדִים אֹתָם וָאֶזְכֹּר אֶת בְּרִיתִי:
And also, I heard the moans of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage, and I remembered My covenant.
The Chatam Sofer asked, why does the pasuk have the extra words וְגַם and אֶת? The pasuk makes sense without those seemingly superfluous words. He answered that the added words teach us that when the Jewish people cried under the burden of slavery, they also heard and felt the cries and pain of their brethren. They experienced their own pain, and their sense of arvut helped them feel the suffering of their fellow Jewish slaves. Through this brotherhood they were rewarded, and merited that Hashem listened to their cries and prayers and eventually freed them from bondage.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman        
וּפֶתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד תֵּשְׁבוּ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת מִשְׁמֶרֶת ה' וְלֹא תָמוּתוּ כִּי כֵן צֻוֵּיתִי:
And you shall stay day and night for seven days at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. You shall observe the Lord's command, so that you will not die, for thus I was commanded.
The Rav states that proper preparation is a necessary condition for any encounter with holiness. For example, in the prelude to giving the Torah, the people were cautioned not to go near their wives for three days. Similarly, in our parasha, Aaron had to submit to a seven-day preparation period prior to the dedication of the Mishkan, and every Kohen Gadol went through a similar sequestration prior to Yom Kippur. Both involved an encounter with holiness.
The same is true of Shabbat. One is not worthy of celebrating it unless one prepares for it. The Rambam states that it is a mitzvah to wash one's hands, face, and feet in hot water on Friday afternoon before Shabbat in order to honor Shabbat.
Holiness does not arrive suddenly; it only comes from the invitation inherent in the act of preparation.
Matzah Factory
Yesterday morning, students in Kindergarten and 1st grade participated in the Model Matzah Factory, brought to us by Chabad-Lubavitch. Our gym was transformed into an authentic matzah bakery, complete with kneading tables, flour grinding stations, and brick ovens. The children, dressed in baker's hats, experienced the 18-minute journey of the shmurah matzah, from threshing and winnowing the wheat stalks to watching their fresh matzah pop right out of an authentic matzah oven. Once the 18-minute clock started, the children quickly mixed and kneaded the dough. Then they rolled the dough out, riddled it with holes using special matzah perforators, and rushed the unbaked matzot to the "brick" oven in the hope of baking the entire batch of matzot in just 18 minutes.

Since the matzah that the children produced themselves is not kosher l'Pesach, each child also took home an individually boxed, full-sized, delicious shmurah matzah that is kosher
l'Pesach, to be used at their seder

Students vs. Teachers Pillo-Polo Game
Joining the Cavaliers, Cubs and Patriots in historic last-minute comebacks, the teachers' pillo-polo team vanquished the 5th grade class champs - "Launch 2 the Win" - in a hard-fought battle that went down to the last second. The annual teacher vs. student pillo-polo game on Tuesday proved to be a game worth waiting for. There were numerous lead changes as the students opened the scoring, followed by two goals by the teachers and then two goals by the students to give them a 3 - 2 halftime lead. The lead increased to 4 - 2, and with about two minutes left the score was tied 5 - 5. With 59 seconds left, the students scored, and it looked like they would prevail. With 20 seconds remaining, the teachers pulled the goalie and Mr. Tarlin scored to tie the game. Then, with one second on the clock, the teachers scored the final goal to win the game.

Congratulations to Jonathan Greenberg, Ariel Freedman, Tara Sanieoff, Alex Lederman and Lior Baker for being the student champions and playing a great game.

Lost and Found
If you recognize anything in the photos below, please retrieve your belongings so you won't be searching for them next winter.

Getting Ready for Yom Orchim

Invitations for Yom Orchim (Visitors' Day) - which will take place on Friday, May 19 - have been sent out, and we want to be sure your loved ones receive all the details so they can mark it on their calendars. If you have not yet provided us with contact information for your child's grandparents or special visitors (or if you have any questions), please contact Ellen Pulda, epulda@maimonides.org or at 617-232-4452 x423.

Help Write a Torah
As you may have heard, there is a beautiful and inspiring initiative underway, a joint initiative of The Afikim Foundation and Israel's Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, to write a Global Unity Sefer Torah celebrating the 50th Anniversary of a Reunited Jerusalem. Jews everywhere can inscribe letters in the Torah, NOT with money, but with simple acts of chesed, everyday kindnesses that positively impact the lives of others. To see more information about this global initiative, please watch this 1-minute video!
Since groups may reserve blocks of letters, we've taken the opportunity to reserve 1000 letters for our Maimonides family.  Let's complete the Maimonides block in the Global Unity Torah and inspire goodness in the world in honor of Jerusalem! The custom link for our school's block can be accessed by clicking here. You may reserve letters for yourself and/or your entire family as a group. (All blue letters are available.) It only takes a minute. 
A digital file containing the names of everyone who participated and their acts of chesed will remain permanently with the Torah, which will be dedicated in Jerusalem on May 24, Yom Yerushalayim.  (There will also be a drawing for 3 round-trip tickets to attend the dedication!) 
Please challenge yourself to commit and record at least 3 acts of kindness by May 24 - actions that are manageable and within your reach. There is no chesed too small!  
Visit jerusalem50.org for more information, or go directly to our block here.
See What's Happening in the Other Divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at the other divisions' newsletters, please click here for the Early Childhood Center, or click here for the Middle and Upper Schools.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:

!שבת שלום
Rabbi, Reena, and the Maimonides ES Faculty