5685 Beacon Street | Pittsburgh PA, 15217  |  (412) 521-8131
Parshat Achrei Mot- Kedoshim
May 5, 2017 - 9 Iyar 5777
Day 24 of the Omer
Shabbat Candle Lighting - by 8:02  pm
Shabbat Ends - 9:11 pm
DVAR TORAH - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
Today's Torah learning is sponsored by The Wiesenfeld Family in loving memory of 
מתתיהו יעקב בן קלמן דוד - Mark J. Wiesenfeld, OB"M 
Dear father and grandfather of Harold, Ronit, Rachel, Maia, Jacob and Shira Wiesenfeld.
Today's midda is - "Let the honor of your friend be dear to you as your own."
Parshat Kedoshim presents the familiar command of "ve-ahavta lerei'acha kamocha" - "you should love your neighbor as yourself" ( 19:18 ). This imperative was made famous by Rabbi Akiva who suggested in the medrash that, "Zeh Klal Gadol BaTorah - This is the great principle of the Torah."  It is very difficult to understand why such a seemingly egocentric and self-centered world view is one that is celebrated by Rabbi Akiva. Perhaps we can approach this statement in the context of a few well-known stories about Rabbi Akiva.
The Talmud in Berachot relates that Rabbi Akiva was once traveling and not able to find lodging. He was forced to spend the night in the forest where wild animals ate his chicken and donkey, and a gust of wind extinguished his only lamp, but at every stage he insisted that it was all for the best. In the morning, he discovered that pillagers had ransacked the city and killed its inhabitants. Rabbi Akiva realized that his life was spared as a result of the townspeople's refusal to offer him lodging, and by the loss of his light and animals.
Rabbi Akiva's optimism resurfaces again in the final passage of Masekhet Makot. There, we read about a group of sages, including Rabbi Akiva, who passed by the ruins of the Temple and witnessed a fox scurrying about at the sacred site. While Rabbi Akiva's colleagues wept, he smiled, noting how the fulfillment of the prophecies warning of Jerusalem's destruction confirmed the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecies foreseeing its restoration.  Once again, when placed in a situation that would ordinarily evoke feelings of anguish and despair, Rabbi Akiva responded with hope, optimism, confidence, and serenity.
How does a person "love his fellow as himself?" The answer, perhaps, is that we must view people the way Rabbi Akiva viewed every situation in life - which is the way people generally view themselves.  All people have positive and negative character traits, but we are able to "love ourselves" by tolerating our imperfections and focusing on our finer qualities.  
Just as Rabbi Akiva was able to find the hopeful, encouraging aspects of even the most dreadful circumstances, similarly, we must identify the positive, admirable qualities of even those who do not immediately present a positive, admirable image.  This, perhaps, is the "great principle of the Torah" - viewing the world's people and events from a positive angle, approaching life with our eyes focused on all that is good.

This week was a difficult one at Hillel Academy. We lost a pillar of our school, a teacher of over fifty years, Mrs. Shirley Dorsey o.b.m. Over the past five decades Morah Dorsey taught students how to read and write, math, and their Aleph Bet. She accomplished an incredible amount and taught tens of thousands of students the skill they would need to survive in life. However, despite these great accomplishments, perhaps her greatest impact was through the Mitzvot and Middot she imparted in our students. Morah Dorsey was a true embodiment of v'ahavta l'reacha k'moacha. She looked past the faults of others, and saw the potential within each student. Morah Dorsey's legacy is vast and she is truly irreplaceable, our hallways will never be the same. In Morah Dorsey's merit we should all try to improve our ahavat chinam and appreciate the good in everyone. 

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Weinberg

Rabbi Weinberg can be reached at sweinberg@hillelpgh.org .
Student Spotlight 
This week we caught up with two third graders this week. 


If you could have a picnic with anyone who would it be? Caleb (my brother)
My cousin, Rachel
Best part of Shabbos? Candy! (Girls) Oneg
Favorite part of Hillel Academy
Field trips and track! My teachers
Favorite color?
Green Gold
Favorite sport?
Soccer, football or hockey Soccer and basketball
Favorite stuffedanimal?
I have a  bear that I got when I was a baby.

A dog

What did you recently learn in Chumash class? Levan tricked Yaakov Leah and Rachel having children
What are you looking forward to in 4th grade?
Moving up a grade Having my mother as a teacher!
Anything else you want people to know about you?
I run track for Hillel! My brother is having his bar mitzvah this Shabbos!

We hope to see you Sunday morning, 9:30 am!

World Cultures class was learning about the Soviet Union as part of our joint-curriculum initiative with English and Social Studies, as they read Animal Farm in English they learn the historical background in Social Studies.  We studied the Communist Revolution and Stalin's takeover, and what life was like for the average person in the Stalin and post-Stalin era of the USSR.  Mrs. Adelsky was born in the USSR, and was 5 years old when Stalin died.  She talked with our class about what her childhood was like in the Soviet school system.  She discussed the unique challenges of going to a school that taught with a pro-Soviet agenda, while her family life was (at least in private) not in line with mainstream Soviet belief.  For her as a child, this was very confusing, having to choose between her teacher's version of truth and her families'.  She also discussed the challenge of being Jewish: she had to be the best in her class to get into university, as they had quotas on the number of Jews admitted.  She told us some old Russian jokes and talked about how she spent time (ice-skating was big for her) and how she hated mandatory summer camps.

 To our knowledge, this was our first ever track meet. Please let us know if that is not the case. Runners competed in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 4*100m, and the 4*400m. Congrats to all the runners! The times will be posted shortly. Community Day School. 

Weekly Photos

Rabbi Broadie learning with Noam.

Twenty five members of the Hillel family attended the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Night at the Riverhounds game at Highmark stadium in Station Square. The Hounds won over Tornoto FC 1-0.  However, the highlight of the evening was the halftime show.  Hillel's very own P.E. teacher, Mr. Sam Angelo's Pittsburgh Rugby Club team played an exhibition game. Pictured here are (L-R) Ben Davis, Rami Shaw and Chaskie Yolkut watched Mr. Angelo.  

Mr. Aneglo acknowledges his crowd of supports (including many of his students) as they chant "Aneglo, Angelo, Angelo".

We want to wish a happy birthday to the following students who are celebrating a birthday in the upcoming month of May/Iyar:

Tamar Admon, Yitzy Sutofsky, Bassie Langer, Ezra Pollak, Sima Reinherz, Levi Greenfield, Kivi Jacobs, Yitzchak Zev Chapley, Rena Goldwasser, Orli Abramowitz, Meira Loring, Tamar Isenberg, Devorah Milch, Aviva Sokol, Eli av Averick, Yosef Cohen-Melamed, Yehuda Abrams, Sarah Hertzberg, Yermi VanSickle, Yonatan Kanal, Shua Ben-Lapid, Rivky Sutofsky, Rivka Mendelbaum, and Rosie Greathouse!
We'd like to thank our k-4 cupcake sponsors:
Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Loring and Leah Ackner
Mr. and Mrs. Shmuel and Avital Isenberg
Mr. and Mrs. Shay Sacks and Karen Jacobs
Happy Birthday!

Mazel Tov to 5g on their completion of Parshat Bo!

Under the auspices of the Jewish Federation, 31 educators representing all nine of our Pittsburgh JECEI and Bonim Beyachad: Building Together early childhood education programs returned from a two-day professional development seminar in Washington, D.C. and in Maryland.  Participants visited other Early Childhood Education Centers on their path for excellence, to meet and dialogue with other  early childhood  directors and educators and to deepen their connections with one another.

Go middos program.

Morah Devorah visited Morah Jessie's class so they could help decorate the Mitzvah mountain.

The Kindergarten walked over to the Kaminsky's apple tree and made a bracha on the tree!

Save the Date

Mazel Tov!
Mazel Tov Margi and, alum, Ephy Weinberg on the birth of a  baby girl!

Mazel Tov to Rabbi and Mrs. Shlomie Berelowitz on the bar mitzvah of their son Yitzy!

Mazel Tov to Yitzy Berelowitz on his bar mitzvah!
Go Figure
Shovels that will be on hand for the groundbreaking. 
People who attended the Hillel Academy Night at the Riverhounds game and saw Mr. Angelo's Rugby Team during half time. 

Start time on Sunday morning, May 7, for the groundbreaking of the new building. 
Days until the first day of Camp Hillel. 

Price  for a BHS ho agie 
Tuesday, June 6 - the Joshua L. Sindler, z'l, Night of Art and Music.
Flashback Fridays
Thanks to your feedback, the Flashback Friday contest is back!   Submit your answers to hillelhappenings@hillelpgh.org. 

Hillel Gear

The Levari sisters trained for yesterday's track meet over Pesach break. 

Do you have Hillel gear photos?  Share them with the hashtags #hillelgear and #hillelpgh or just email them to hillelhappenings@hillelpgh.org
Camp Registration

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please contact  dkraut@hillelpgh.org.
Around Town
Kiddish Invitation: 
The Berelowitz family invites the entire community to a kiddish in honor of the bar mitzva of their son, Yitzy.  This Shabbos, 
May 6th , at the Kollel Jewish Learning Center.  Shacharis at  8:30 , Kiddush approximately  10:45 am.

Bnei Akiva- "Bnei Akiva's annual Tekes Yom Hazikaron is taking place on Monday, May 1st at Shaare Torah at 7:00 PM. All are invited to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices made by our soldiers defending the Sate of Israel. Snif continues this Shabbat at Shaare Torah from 4:30 to 5:30 . Shabbat Shalom!"

Girl's Oneg:  Every Shabbos afternoon from  3:30-4:30  in the PZ Educational Building for all girls in grades K-6.  Hope to see you there!

Note New Time for this Sunday's Class.

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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Please send condolence notices to  HillelHappenings@Hillelpgh.org.