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The Columbus Torah Academy
181 Noe Bixby Rd, Columbus OH 43213

November 14, 2014

         21 Cheshvan 5775

Chaye Sarah
  Candlelighting 4:57 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Head of School's Message
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Scholarship Dinner Corner
Scholarship Dinner-Sunday, November 23, 2014
4th Graders Build Egg Container Prototypes
2nd Graders Teach About Creation
Learning Social Skills in 2nd Grade
CTA Alumnus Co-Produces Film
Moreh Dror Fun at Hebrew Story Time at Bexley Library
Community News
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Gallery Players at the JCC Presents: Korczak's Children
Flu Season
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Parshat Chaye Sarah Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
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By Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

In this week's Parasha, we read of the death of Sarah.  The Torah tells us that Abraham came "to eulogize Sarah and to bewail her." The Torah does not tell us the words Abraham spoke at his wife's funeral but the Midrash informs us that the last verses of Proverbs (31:10 -31) were the words spoken by Abraham at the time of his beloved wife's death. Although tradition ascribes the authorship of Proverbs to Solomon, it is not unusual for later authors to base their words on previous writings.  For instance, the Midrash says that chapters 90-99 of Psalms were actually written by Moshe.  In similar fashion, Solomon could have based the conclusion of Proverbs on statements first spoken by Abraham.


This beautiful paean to the Jewish wife and mother has come to be known as "Eshet Chayil" that is sung at the Shabbat table prior to the recitation of Kiddush.  Among the words of praise we find in this hymn is the phrase "she seeks out (identifies) wool and flax." Of all the words of praise chosen to describe Sarah it is hard to imagine why Abraham would have chosen this particular skill with which to praise his wife as we know that the admixture of wool and flax (linen) is explicitly prohibited by Torah law. Perhaps what the author wanted to point out is the importance of being able to discriminate between what is permitted and what is prohibited. This skill, when presented in this context, makes the even more subtle point that even things that are permitted on their own, may become prohibited when they are combined. 


This is an extremely important idea for the Jewish homemaker.  It is the responsibility of parents to be mindful of the things that their children are exposed to, to be aware of what comes into the home.  Given the pervasive nature of modern culture, given the myriad access points through which information and media enter our homes, parents, and particularly mothers who spend more time at home with their children, need to be aware of what their children are being exposed to. Furthermore, things that are innocuous on their own, items that are appropriate for adults or teenagers, when combined with younger children. become a sort of "wool and linen," a toxic and prohibited admixture.


The prohibition of wearing wool and linen is not a metaphor.  It is an actual Torah prohibition similar to the laws of kashrut.  But today's eshet chayil needs to have the discrimination skills necessary to recognize the metaphorical "wool and linen" that enters our homes and have the strength and fortitude to deny children access to those aspects of the pop culture that are inappropriate for children.


Shabbat Shalom.

Sunday, November 16:  8th Grade departs for Washington, 5:45am
Monday, November 17: Macaroni & Cheese-Volunteer: W. Almasanu
Tuesday, November 18: Chicken Nuggets-Volunteer: L. Hoffman
Wednesday, November 19: Lasagna-Volunteer: L. Blumberg
Thursday, November 20: Sloppy Joe-Volunteer: R. Topolosky
Friday, November 21: Fish Sticks-Volunteer: K. Abelman
2:00pm Dismissal 

All of November: Scholastic Book Fair On-Line

Sunday, November 23: CTA Scholarship Dinner, Hilton Downtown, 5:30pm

Tuesday, November 25: Thanksgiving Show, Grades K-4, 9:30am

Wednesday, November 26:  2:00 p.m. Dismissal

November 27-28:  Thanksgiving Vacation - NO SCHOOL

CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 212
Monday-Friday- 7:30am-4pm

There are remaining gift cards in stock that can be purchased!  Below is a list of what we have on-hand and in what denominations.  There are limited quantities.  Email your order request to:

We are still able to place special orders, just email or call in your specifics.  We will give you an approximate expectation for the order to arrive.  


Looking to help raise money for CTA?  Here are a few ways to do it that will cost you NOTHING:


Kroger Rewards Card:  Go to and register your rewards card.  Kroger will donated up to 1% of your Kroger or Turkey Hill stores.  

OFFICE MAX:  Do you shop at Office Max?  Help CTA earn money off of your purchases by using our Max Perks card number during your purchase.  The number is:  207285005 

Target RED Card: Go to to manage your red card and enroll your card in the Take Charge of Education program to choose CTA.  Target will donate up to 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target stores in the U.S and at 

Amazon Smile:  Go to and register to benefit CTA.  When you make a purchase, CTA will receive 1% of that purchase as a donation to our school.  Always shop through to benefit CTA. 

iGive:  Register with iGive at and your Amazon purchases and online purchases at close to 1500 retailers will give a kickback to CTA.  To date we have raised over $1000.  

Apples for Students at Giant Eagle:  If you are a Giant Eagle shopper, go to to register for their donation program.  You will need your Giant Eagle Advantage Card number and the CTA School Code which is #4389. 


If you have trouble with any of these, contact Shari or come visit her in her office and she will walk you through it!


Tom and Lea Schottenstein on the marriage of their daughter, Yael.


Rivkie Unterman on the loss of her mother.

Marcie Gilbert and Larry Gilbert on the loss of brother-in-law and uncle,

   Mack Gilbert.


Last Chance for Listings:  While the Tribute Journal is just about to go into production for distribution at next Sunday's Scholarship Dinner, there is still space to participate in the listings and donor pages.  If you want to participate in one line listings for $18 for the Yeladim (Children), Grandparent, Memorial or Alumni pages, please contact by Sunday night.  There is also the opportunity to be a part of special pages that have been set up in honor of Patty Sapp and Charles Kramer in recognition of their service.  In memoriam pages for the following are also accepting donations:


Brian Flox, alumnus

Dorothy Kahn, supporter

Sarah and Yishai Levy, students

Bill McCulley, teacher

David Myers, parent

Pearson Press, alumni parent, grandparent, honorary treasurer and board member

Ruth Quinn, supporter

Cantor Irving Schreier, founder


Participation is $18, contact to be a part of these pages.


Silent and Student Art Auction:  Amazing prizes have been procured for the Auction which will be held at the Scholarship Dinner.  Some of the prizes include:  $1000 Gift Certificate to Artscroll, a suite at Schottenstein/ Value City Arena, sports tickets, beauty gift cards, jewelry and more.  Ms. Neiwirth has been working with the students in grades K-6 to create one-of-a-kind collaborative art pieces that are beautifully framed and, with some careful bidding, can be yours to hang in home or office.  Also, CTA teachers and staff are offering some special talents and services like Lunch with Mrs. Sapp or An Art Lesson with Ms. Neiwirth. Plan to bid early and often.



Mrs. Lerner's Spectacular Science Fourth Graders designed their own prototype containers to protect eggs. Working in small groups they created ingenious inventions using Styrofoam, coffee filters, pulleys, baggies and more.  This week they tested the prototypes by dropping them from the Library loft.  

The second grade visited the kindergarten and first grade this week to teach them about the seven days of creation. The 2nd graders made poster projects of the 7 days of creation depicting what happened on each day.


At CTA, the growth in children extends beyond the academic to the whole child and the social, emotional and physical development of each child is paramount to their future success.  CTA Speech and Language Pathologist, Lynn Vottero has been going into the 2nd grade classrooms to lead social skills seminars with our students.  The experiences are designed to help them to learn social cues and to integrate form healthy relationships with their peers and teachers.

CTA 12th grade alumnus, Pam Ryan (class of 1999) has produced a movie called "The Great Invisible" which is on the short list for an Oscar nomination after winning the Documentary Award at last year's South by Southwest Film Festival.  The film is based around the 2010 BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and tackles the strength and control of the oil companies and the importance of gas consumption to our economy and politics.  The movie will be in Columbus for a one week sneak preview at the Gateway Film Center on campus beginning on November 21.  For a complete review of the film, go to:


A special story about carrots was all the rage at last Sunday's Hebrew story time in the children's department at the Bexley Public Library.  Moreh Dror engaged the youngsters in an interactive story about friendship and teamwork to pull a great big carrot from the ground.  The children enjoyed story related crafts and learning many special Hebrew words.  The story was a well known Hebrew book called Eliezer v'Ha Gezer (Eliezer and the Carrot) and many of the children were excited to show how many Hebrew words they knew. 


It has been a time-honored Jewish tradition to give tzedakah in recognition of important events. Todah Rabah to the following for their donation to:


To The Scholarship Fund by:

Jeffrey and Helen Garden in honor of Rabbi & Mrs. Levine's new grandson

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz


Kristallnacht:  Rabbi Savage's 10th grade Jewish History Class was distressed to hear Kristallnacht was approaching; not just because of the events that occurred but over the lack of awareness and acknowledgment this event receives. After taking a brief survey of the average Jew's awareness, the students took it upon themselves to address this issue. In just a short amount of time, our 10th graders put together a dynamic program for the entire high school. Beginning with a short video explaining the facts about what had occurred, the Jewish History class then presented a skit that they wrote and performed; a short vignette of what that night might have looked like from the perspective of one Jewish family.  

Lastly, Rabbi Savage arranged for Fran Greenberg, a member of the Columbus Jewish community and Holocaust survivor, to share her unique experience of how she survived the Holocaust and remained committed to Judaism despite losing her parents and being raised by nuns in a convent during her early childhood. Fran's story was truly moving and helped us all appreciate the reality of the Holocaust on yet a deeper level.

Food for Thought: There is a Torah prohibition called Nichush (best translated as "reading omens") that forbids us to make decisions or draw conclusions based on good or bad luck signs. A classic example would be the old "black cat crossing one's path" theory. The problem is that in this week's parsha it seems like Avraham's faithful servant, Eliezer, employs Nichush to identify Rivka as a worthy wife for Yitzchak; Eliezer asks Hashem for a sign that the proper "shidduch" should be the girl who offers water to him and his camels. What variable(s) in this story distinguishes it from Nichush?

By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Dror-new Can you point to the place where the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was? 

There are many mysterious questions in Judaism... Do we know where Mount Sinai is?  Do we know where the Holy Vessels are kept?  Can we point to the place where the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was?  In Morah Elana's Sixth Grade, as part of the study of Sefer Shmuel in Navi, the students studied about the Biblical city of Shiloh.  Through Power Point presentations, the class studied various views and the location of the city.  They figured out that Biblical cities of those days were not as big as today's.  It was also interesting for them to be exposed to and learn about the latest archeological finds which were published this past summer.  The students saw the uniquely designed pitchers of that period as well as a picture of a broken pitcher next to ashes from the destruction of the city by the Pelishtim.  The story about the Kohen Gadol, Eli, and the captured Aron Hakodesh suddenly awakened them.  For the first time in their lives, the children saw the location of the Mishkan that stood for 369 years in Shiloh.  Now, when they continue to study the books of the Prophets, they'll have an anchor and make the correct associations.  Of course, as one of their "desserts", they held pieces of original pottery from the archeological sites.  This is just one more wonderful way to bring the love of the land of Eretz Yisrael and of learning Tanach into the hearts of the children. Yasher Koach and Shabbat Shalom. 







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1.  Name the four couples buried in Kiryat Arba.
a.  Adam and Chava, Avraham and Sara, Yitzchak and Rivka, Yaakov and Leah.

2.  What event did Sara hear about that caused her death?
a.  Akeidat Yitzchak - the Binding of Isaac.

3.  What title of honor did the Bnei Chet bestow upon Avraham?
a.  Prince of G-d.


4.   Where was Avraham born?

a.   Ur Kasdim.


5.   How were Avraham's camels distinguished?

a.   They were muzzled, so they wouldn't graze in the fields of others.


6.   What is meant by "all the good of his master in his hand"?

a.   Eliezer carried a document in which Avraham gave all he owned to Yitzchak so that people would want their daughter to marry him.


7.   What special character trait did Eliezer seek when choosing a wife for Yitzchak?

a.   He sought someone who excelled in performing acts of kindness.


8.   Why did Avraham's servant, Eliezer, run toward Rivka?

a.   He saw that the waters of the well rose when she approached.


(Parsha Chaye Sarah Quiz originally appeared on the 

Ohr Somayach  website,


As part of our partnership with the Shiloh school in Israel, we will be receiving riddles each week relating to the Parasha. You will notice this each week on this back page. The goal is to have the parents and children discuss the parasha, while trying to figure out the connection between the picture and the parasha. All answered riddles should be given to the Judaic teacher on Monday. The names of the winners will be announced and sent to our friends in Israel.


What is the connection between the picture and the parasha? Look in Chapter 24, Verse 22. You will find the answer there.


The winner of last week's riddle is: Avigdor Steinberg


Moreh Dror Karavani will collect all of the submitted answers, put them into a box, and save them for the big raffle! You will hear more about this very soon. Keep your answers coming.

I hope you enjoy the electronic version of our Dateline. Please check out our website at