Upper School Weekly Update

April 28th, 2017  -  Tazria-Metzora
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Last Day for Seniors
Yom HaShoah
Senior vs. Faculty Basketball Game
Help Write a Torah
Division Newsletters
Next Week
Monday, May 1 
(Yom HaZikaron)

Tuesday, May 2 
(Yom HaAtzmaut)
3:00 Dismissal

Softball @ Mt. Alvernia (4:00), V Baseball vs. Snowden (4:00),

JV Baseball @ Atlantis Charter (4:30), Boys' Tennis @ Hamilton-Wenham (4:30)

Wednesday, May 3

AP English Literature Exam

Thursday, May 4

Boys' Tennis @ Watertown (4:15)

Friday, May 5

AP US History Exam
In Two Weeks
Sunday, May 7
SAT Tests

Baseball (Var vs. Cristo Rey 2:30, JV vs. Atlantis 4:30)

Monday, May 8

AP Exam: Physics

Softball @ Gann 4:00, JV Baseball @ Schecter (3:30)

Tuesday, May 9

AP Exam: Calculus

Softball vs. South Shore Christian (4:30), V Baseball @ Chelsea (night),

Boys' Tennis @ St. Joseph's (3:30)

Wednesday, May 10

No changes

Thursday, May 11

AP Exam: Statistics

Softball @ St. Joseph's 4:30, Var Baseball @ Cathedral (TBD),

JV Baseball @ SSCA (4:30), Boys' Tennis @ Watertown (4:15),

Girls' Tennis @ Brimmer & May 4:30

Friday, May 12

No changes

Having a


Online Photo Galleries

Find Maimonides On:
Quick Links
D'var Torah 

by Rabbi Dov Huff

Please see below for the d'var Torah delivered this morning by our gabbaim, Yona Diamond and Uriya Durani, on their last day leading our minyan. And a big yashar koach to them for gifting us with a powerful year of tefillah betzibbur
In this week's double parsha, Tazria-Metzora, we learn the symptoms of tzara'at and the details of the purification ritual for the metzora. If one becomes afflicted with tzara'at, the Torah says that they should be brought before Aaron or one of his sons. Why does the metzora have to go to a kohen and not to a doctor or trained professional? What does the fact that there is a physical affliction that is treated spiritually teach us about Judaism's attitude toward medicine and science?
The gemara in Kiddushin lists some professions that are suggested for Jews and some that are not. Famously, and somewhat surprisingly, doctors are included in Rebbi Yehuda's list of bad jobs for a Jew to have. This leads to a great machloket between Rebbi Yehuda and the classic Jewish mother, who holds that being a doctor is in fact the best job possible for a good Jewish child. The common explanation to this baffling sugya is that Rebbi Yehuda is referring to doctors who think they have all of the power to heal people, and forget about Hashem's ultimate power. If a doctor recognizes that he is merely a tool in Hashem's healing of the patient, it is indeed praiseworthy to be a doctor. We learn from this sugya that healing is both a physical and spiritual process.
Clearly, tzara'at is a much more spiritual illness than any that we experience today. We see from the fact that it is talked about at such length in the parsha that it is not just another illness. It makes sense that a kohen has to take care of a metzora, because the kohen is much more in tune with spirituality than the average person. We know, though, that the kohen still observes the physical progress of the tzara'at. The kohen is using both spiritual and physical methods to help the metzora become pure again.  
To a lesser extent, we can learn from the metzora treatment that when we are in need of medical care, it is important to go to a doctor, but also to make sure we recognize Hashem's role in curing us. This duality between science and spirituality is commonly known as Torah u'madda. This key idea of Modern Orthodox Judaism has been reinforced in our minds throughout the years.
As the seniors prepare to leave the walls of Maimo, it is important for all of us to remember this duality and recognize it in our daily lives.  Our wish to our fellow seniors, and the rest of you who will get here someday, is that we can grow in both Torah and madda in these next stages of our lives. It has been an honor to serve as the gabbaim of this minyan for the last year. Being a gabbai is Torah, and we had it down to a madda, science.
Shabbat shalom.
Questions for the Shabbos table:
1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
2. Where else in our lives can we apply this idea of looking behind what is scientific and natural and seeing Yad Hashem?
3. What lessons have we learned about leadership from this year's gabbaim?
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi Dov Huff

The Rav in this week's parsha discusses the ritual prescribed for curing a metzora, someone afflicted with tzarat (leprosy). Part of the ritual involves tearing the clothing of the  metzora and allowing their hair to grow. The Rav points out that this is similar to what an avel, a mourner, does upon losing a loved one. Not only that, but both are confined as well - the metzora to outside the city walls, and the avel to their home. 
The Rav says that although they seem the same, the two are fundamentally different. The metzora is taken from the camp and "badad yeisheiv" - must dwell alone. The metzora is isolated, removed from society. Not so the mourner. The avel, while confined, is not secluded. The avel receives visitors and is comforted by his friends. 
We also see this difference when it comes to a chag falling during these periods. For an avel, the chag interrupts the aveilut, because the avel, while mourning, is not meant to be disconnected. The chag does not, however, interrupt the period of seclusion for the metzora - he is isolated both from man and from G-d.
We can speculate as to what this says about the nature of the sin of the metzora. If the tzarat is brought on by lashon hara, we can certainly understand how this person has created their own isolation, given how their actions and speech have undermined the community.

Last Day for Seniors

Today was the last day of regular classes for the seniors - only there were no classes. Following shacharit and a special breakfast, the Class of 2017 saluted the maintenance and janitorial staff. They then heard from the alumni office before preparing and delivering individual tokens of gratitude and respect to teachers and other staff members. This was followed by a period of relaxation, informal sports, and a class barbecue before the final bell, when seniors will pass through the hallways as teachers and underclassmen cheer.

The seniors now embark on individual projects required for graduation. They will reconvene during the third week of June for the class trip and Senior Recognition Night, concluding with Commencement on Sunday morning, June 18.

Yom HaShoah
Special speakers Esther Adler and Sam Weinreb shared detailed recollections of persecution, deprivation, and ultimate survival to mark the observance of Yom HaShoah v'HaGevurah at Maimonides. The students were reminded that they are part of the last generation that will hear Holocaust survivors' first-hand testimony.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, shoes, screen and indoor

Seniors vs. Faculty Basketball Game
Our Seniors vs. Faculty basketball game was tense right up to the final buzzer. But the faculty prevailed with a final score of 54-51! 

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 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 Elementary and Middle Schools, or click here for the Early Childhood Center.

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

Maimonides School | 34 Philbrick Road | Brookline | MA | 02445