Bnei Akiva Schools Newsletter - · PDF file Bnei Akiva Schools Newsletter September 4, 2015...
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Bnei Akiva Schools Newsletter September 4, 2015 Elul 20, 5775
Parshat Ki Tavo Candle Lighting 7:29 Havdalla 8:35
In the middle of the curses described in Parshat Ki Tavo that Hashem tells us will befall the Jewish people, the Torah has three verses that do not seem to fit and seem very difficult to comprehend. The Torah tells us that the reason the Jewish people will be punished is "because you did not serve God besimcha (with joy) and goodness of heart, meirov kol (through abundance of everything.)"
There are many problems inherent in these pesukim, but most glaring is understanding why, if the Jewish people followed all the laws of the Torah, but not with joy, should that be such a punishable offence? The bottom line is that they kept the Torah should the absence of joy in their service really have such a great impact?
So difficult is this concept to understand that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, (the first Kotzker Rebbe) reinterprets the verses entirely to read "because with joy (joyfully) you did not serve Hashem" meaning you took pleasure and enjoyment out of defying Hashem's wishes and going against the Mitzvoth of the Torah.
While this explanation is plausible, perhaps there is a deeper understanding that we could offer. Perhaps the message being conveyed is that absent joy in the performance of mitzvoth, observance will ultimately suffer. It is well known that children are more committed to activities that they enjoy and the same can certainly be said of adults. Perhaps our verses are teaching us that an individual who doesn't find joy and enthusiasm and inspiration in the performance of Hashem's commandments will have a hard time sustaining his observance and in many cases will fail. These verses are therefore potentially ascribing punishment for ultimate non performance, but the emphasis is being placed on the lack of joy that precipitated the loss of commitment.
This past summer, one of the books I read that really left an impression on me was called Drive, by Daniel Pink. The book talks about what motivates people towards success. Within the book is a chapter focused on purpose, in which he makes the point that absent purpose in one's life, one's levels of success will be limited. In a great quote focusing on businesses and corporations, he says that the "goal is to pursue purpose and use profit as the catalyst rather than the objective." In an educational context, I would say that our goal is purpose and we use education as a catalyst rather than an objective.
This past Wednesday we had a full faculty, staff and administrative meeting in which, as a group, we discussed our goals for this coming year. One theme that we focused on was the need to instill a sense of purpose, drive and motivation within our students. There will be many
programs and activities that will take place this coming year related to that theme. We understand that this can only be accomplished if our learning, programs and activities are filled with a sense of enjoyment and excitement. We hope and believe that this will lead to a year filled with meaningful growth in all areas of school and life.
Wishing you and your family a successful start to a new school year.
Ketiva VeChatima Tova, Rabbi Seth Grauer
Student Orientations Both schools held orientation sessions for all grades. Students caught up with each other, met new faculty members and learned about new initiatives for the school year. Grade 12s at both schools had additional leadership sessions, geared at preparing them for their roles this year. Thank you to teachers and administrators who ran these sessions. Thank you as well to Shlomo Sabovich ('14) for inspiring our grade 9s, reflecting on his high school and yeshiva experiences.
Click here to view photos
Welcome BBQs Grade 12s hosted BBQs to welcome our grade 9 students. The 12s ran icebreaker games to give the 9s an opportunity to meet and get to know each other. At the YOC BBQ, the students met in "big brother / little brother" groups for the new students to gain insightful advice from their "big brothers." Ulpana's family assembly next week will kick off the "sisters" program! Thank you to the Meyer family for hosting Ulpana's BBQ. Thank you to the Lyons family for hosting YOC's BBQ.
Click here to view photos
http://bastoronto.org/welcome-bbqs-2015/ http://bastoronto.org/student-orientations/ http://bastoronto.org/new-faculty-2015/
Curriculum Night / Meet and Greet YOC's curriculum night will be Wednesday, September 9. The evening will take a format different from our traditional curriculum night. Grade 9 parents / parents new to BAS will have a valuable information session at 7:00pm. Grade 9 and 10 parents will have formal curriculum night sessions from 7:40pm 9:30pm. Grade 11 parents will have a Judaic studies information session at 7:40pm. Grade 11 and 12 parents will have a chance to meet all their son's teachers informally and review course outlines from all of their son's classes from 7:00 8:30pm.
Ulpana's Curriculum Night / Meet and Greet is Thursday, Sept 17. Further details will be in next week's enewsletter.
Yearbook Photos This Wednesday, September 9, Grades 911 will have their individual and group photos taken and grade 12s will have their group photos taken. Come prepared with a smile!
UO Grade 9 Retreat The annual Grade 9 retreat will take place from Sunday, September 20, departing from Ulpana at 8am, and will return to Ulpana on Monday, September 21 at around 5:15pm. The retreat will take place at the Kinark Outdoor Centre in Minden. We are looking forward to a succesful and enjoyable retreat. Please be sure to return all forms as soon as possible: General Information Emergency Release Form Schedule Packing List
YOC Grade 9 Shabbaton Grade 9s will be attending an exciting shabbaton in Camp Moshava Ennismore on September 1819. If you have not yet returned forms and payment, please do so as soon as possible! Be in touch with Mr. Lazar if you have any questions.
http://bastoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/UO-Grade9-Retreat-Schedule.pdf http://bastoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Packing-List-Kinark.pdf http://bastoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/YOCGrade9shabbaton.pdf http://bastoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Grade-9-Retreat-Info.pdf http://bastoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/RELEASE-AND-WAIVER-of-LIABILITY-Kinark.pdf mailto:[email protected]
YOC Sports and Competition Program On Thursday, September 10, toward the end of the school day, the entire school will be involved in a Sports and Competition program. This program will be a great way for students of all grades to get to know one another and compete in various events (not just sports!). Grade 12s are working closely with faculty and administration to plan an exciting, valuable afternoon. The program will lead into the first mishmar of the year. Weather permitting, students should expect to spend some active time outdoors (so bring a change of clothing, a hat and sunscreen!).
Upcoming Calendar Events Tuesday, September 8: First Day of Classes Wednesday, September 9: Short Day Schedule Thursday, September 10: First Mishmar at YOC Sunday, September 13Tuesday, September 15: Rosh Hashana, No School
See the full online calendar
YOC Lunch Forms YOC lunch forms are now available! Please return the completed form with payment no later than Thursday, Sept 10.
YOC Sukkah Builders YOC Sukkah Builders are available to help you! If you are interested, please call ShlomoEli at 289.776.6442 or Meron at 647.459.2998, or email [email protected] Reserve as soon as possible limited spots are available! Payment can be made in either cheque (payable to Yeshivat Or Chaim Student Council) or credit card (2.75% additional charge will be added).
Summer Mazel Tovs Engagements: Naphtali Silverman ('05) and Ava Leigh Jeremy Syrtash ('06) and Megan Wexler Gabi Reiss ('09) and Yaakov Freedman Rebecca Cymbalista ('11) and Yishai Kurtz ('10) Eliana Kleinberg ('12) and Zachary Husynni
Weddings: Sherri Silver ('03) and Hananel Romer Segal Chaya Taub ('05) and Yehuda Levy Sendy Shorser ('05) and Ariella Mandel
http://bastoronto.org/calendar/master-uoyoc-calendar/ http://bastoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Lunch-Forms.pdf mailto:[email protected]
Greg Kay ('09) and Deena Rogozinsky Shifrah Mincer ('09) and Yaakov Coates Debra Va