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Parshat Vayikra

March 31, 2017 - 4 Nisan 5777
Shabbat Candle Lighting - by 7:26  pm
Shabbat Ends - 8:35 pm

DVAR TORAH - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
  In the onset of Parashat Vayikra, we are introduced to the requirement that any animal brought as a sacrifice must possess the quality of tamim - "completeness."  The Talmud in Masekhet Bekhorot (39a) concludes that the tamim requirement extends even to  an animal missing a certain internal organ.  
     Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, in his Torah commentary, explains the symbolic significance of this requirement of tamim, which demands both external and internal perfection:
 "So that for each and every aspect of our relation to G-d which is to be expressed by an offering, "completion,"  is the first and most indispensable condition... Anything missing of the living creature which is to express our relation to G-d would give the idea of excluding this missing organ, and thereby the sphere of our life which this organ serves to represent, from our relation to G-d, and from our giving ourselves up to Him in that particular sphere...so certain is it that the very smallest, the slightest keeping back of any part of ourselves and our lives as being excluded from our relation to G-d is a denial of His Oneness."
    The sacrificial offering represents the concept of our devotion to Hashem.  The absence of any organ,  whether external or internal, would imply that the aspect of our being which is signified by that organ is excluded from this devotion.  The requirement of tamim thus relates to the all-encompassing nature of avodat Hashem, the obligation we bear to devote ourselves entirely to the service of G-d.  Just as every part of the animal must be present and intact for it to qualify as a sacrifice, so must each and every part of our body and soul be included in our religious devotion.  
     We all have unique talents and traits that help us relate to our service of Hashem. For some of us, religion is intellectual, as we explore the depths of the Torah and nuances of Halacha with our brains. For others it is emotional, as we search for spiritual heights within the depths of our "hearts." And for others it is through our arms as they shake a lulav, our hands when they are used to save lives, or our eyes when they are used to seek out the less fortunate among us. While all these strengths are  necessary,   it is important that we focus on being well-rounded as well, to ensure that  every  part of our body and soul is included in our devotion to Hashem. 
Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Weinberg
  • Reminder - No Clubs May 2, 2017 - Yom Ha'atzmaut, and May 22 is the final week of clubs
See Flyers below for the following sales:
Rabbi Weinberg can be reached at sweinberg@hillelpgh.org .
The Art Department
Brought to you by the  Joshua L. Sindler, z"l Creative Classrooms, Art and Music Endowment Program
Save the Date: Annual Night of Art and Music - June 6 @ 7pm

Alumni Feature - Yehuda Gutman - 1996 - 2008
Let's get this party started. Many of our avid readers have shared their favorite   Hillel  memory, what's yours?
  Th at's  a great question. There are two occasions that really stand out for me. First, winning my first Rosh Chodesh flag football championship in 6th grade, and second, winning my second Rosh Chodesh flag football championship.

What organizations are you currently involved in? It is very difficult to be involved with any organizations when most of my time goes towards my work. A few months out of the year, I am involved in a very special organization called the Yinzer Fantasy Football League. It is a way for all the members, who also happen to be Hillel Academy alumni, to keep in touch.

Ahh fantasy football, pretty popular here in Hillel. Separately, how do you earn a living? I am the senior Catering and Deli Manager at Pomegranate, which has the largest selection of premiere kosher food in the country.

How did Hillel Academy prepare you for the future? The group of friends I see and talk to now are the same friends I had from the start of kindergarten all the way through high school. It is extremely rare and special for that to happen and it is all because of Hillel Academy.

Let's switch modes and talk mishpocho (AKA mishpacha - family).
My mom is a premiere teacher for Hillel Academy. My older sister Chayala is married to that Sokol guy Elan. They have two children in Hillel now, Zishe and Aviva. Then there's my older brother Ari and his daughter Ava who attended Hillel at one point as well. Currently, they are living in New York.

Yeah, we know Elan Sokol, probably one of the best arrival-line parents out there.  Why you may ask?  Because he follows the rules.  No joke, how do we get other parents to follow the arrival rules, like no U turns, move up, don't text or cut people off? That's tough, bring in the Pittsburgh Police to patrol the line. 

What do you do in your free time? Bowl.

Did you know that I bowled a high score of 258 and helped lead my team to victory in the Kollel Konnections event? Bowled a 258 nice. That's my average...

Who is the single most interesting person in your contacts? Joe Segal

I actually thought you would says that. Joe is a great guy, but what is so special about Joe?  I f you take all the best qualities from myself, Yochi, Jacob, Micha, Josh, Ephy, Eden, and R' Matt Faigen then you will maybe get an eighth of what Joe Segal brings to the table. The man is a legend.  (Editor's note: these wonderful alumni were all classmates of Yehuda's.)

Speaking of your class, they are rumored to be the most athletic class in the history of Hillel Academy. Thoughts? I don't think that is a rumor, it's a fact. Being part of the most popular, smart, athletic, and ridiculously good looking class in Hillel
Purim 2008, Yehuda and his crew were Robin Hood Men in Tights. Mrs. Naiditch (Yochi's mom) made the costumes for the class. 
history, yeah, I guess you could say I lived every kid's dream. 

How were you guys all so close? What is the secret? I don't really think I can explain why we were all so close. We all just brought the best out of each other and we all enjoyed doing the same things.

Ok, let's bring this little shmooze session to the topic of the Hillel Heat. When you hear the word amoeba (Editor's note - an offensive play developed during the days of Coach Lenny ), do you think about science or basketball?  When I hear amoeba I don't  think science or basketball. I think of a combination, amoeba is the science of basketball. 

Moving on to NYC topics, what's worst, traffic at 1 AM in NYC or sitting in Pittsburgh tunnel traffic? 1 AM NYC for sure. I wish I had Pittsburgh tunnel traffic.

Best pizza in NYC? Right now my favorite pizza is Benny's brick oven pizza. 

So, my people tell me that you love Space Jam--I mean who doesn't? It's been said Hollywood is making a second Space Jam. Would that be more disrespectful to MJ or Bugs Bunny? Definitely MJ.
Some have compared Yehuda to Pedro when he played 3B for the Pirates. It's unclear why.

Let's talk everyone's favorite topic, Buccos. Is it hard to remain a fan now that you are in NYC? 
No it's not hard at all. I love to talk Pittsburgh sports to NY fans.

If you could have any job in the MLB, from front office to player, what position would you take?  I would say third base or pitcher, because I got a cannon of an arm.
Hillel Gear Flash Sale and Spaghetti Dinner
Weekly Photos
Fourth graders wrote cinquain poems.  Cinquains are poems with a very specific form. The first line has 2 syllables, the second 4, the third 6, the fourth 8, and the last 2.  Here's an example from one of our students:

Track's hard
and tiring
but it's good for you too
it makes you flexible and fast
drink lots

The second session of  Tech Shop Club  began yesterday with a car building activity using L ittleBits

Mazel Tov to the first grade Judaic Studies class for  completing the first Perek in Parshas Lech Lecha. The children did a beautiful job with their first Chumash learning experience and are extremely proud of their accomplishments. To celebrate this memorable occasion, the children had a wonderful Siyum which included reading Pasukim from the Perek, discussing what they learned, and Smart Board Chumash activities. To finish their wonderful afternoon, they had a delicious ice cream party. Morah Chana and Morah Dorsey are very proud of their students and extend a heartfelt Mazel Tov to the students and their parents.    
Mazel Tov to alum, Rabbi Mathew Faigen on his Chag 
Ha'Smicha! Mazel Tov to the Faigen and Brent families!

You can watch the highlights from this momentous occasion on the YU Facebook page - click Smicha to see it. 

Mazel Tov to alum, Rabbi Moshe Abrams on his Chag Ha'Smicha!
Mazel Tov to the entire Abrams family!

Our twelfth grade boys went to D.C. this past week to take part in AIPAC. This unique experience gave them the opportunity to combine their studies with lectures from some of the most influential individuals in the US and understand what is necessary to keep the Jewish state safe, strong and secure.

AP bio trip to Dr. Kara Bernstein's lab

Register Now!
Flashback Fridays
Thanks to your feedback, the Flashback Friday contest is back!   Submit your answers to hillelhappenings@hillelpgh.org. 

This week's photo:      
Last week's photo:      
Mazel Tov
Mazel Tov to Louis (alum) Miller and Chana Miller on the birth of their third daughter!

Mazel tov to alum,  Adir Shimon  on his engagament to Offir Alon! 
Camp Registration

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please contact  dkraut@hillelpgh.org.
Around Town
Bnei Akiva-  There IS Bnei Akiva snif this week from  4:30 to 5:30   at Shaare Torah! We can't wait to see all 2-8 grade boys and 4-8 grade girls there!

Girl's Oneg: Every Shabbos afternoon from  3:30-4:30  for all girls in grades K-6 in the PZ Educational Building.  Join us on Shabbos Hagadol,  April 8th , for a special Pesach activity!  There will be no Oneg during Pesach on  April 15th .

USED SHOE DRIVE  -  As you clean for Pesach and do spring cleaning, please keep an eye for any unwanted shoes you may have and bring them to the shul. There will be a box in the lobby of the shul for collection of used shoes. These shoes will be used by Hurry Home Hounds (http://www.hurryhomehounds.com/) to benefit impoverished people in underdeveloped counties, as well as their own work placing retired racing greyhounds as pets in homes, through Funds2orgs.

Volunteer Opportunities -   
Sunday, April 2nd  All Day - Good Deeds Day
Each year, we spend the day focusing on projects assisting various community organizations, non-profits and religious institutions throughout the city. Due to the past success of Good Deeds Day within the Jewish community, this year we are partnering with almost 40 different neighborhood associations, religious institutions, and non-profit organizations to have over 800 volunteer spots all across Pittsburgh on April 2nd!  This is a city-wide day of volunteering so bring your friends and family!
AgeWell Pittsburgh has two volunteer opportunities that are fun and rewarding! Both help seniors in our community remain independent and connected.
AgeWell Rides, our senior transportation program that helps "keep seniors on the go" has driven over 9500 miles since it started 3 years ago. Most drives are short (about 5 miles roundtrip) and local in Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Shadyside (or Mt. Lebanon for South Hills drivers).  Volunteers offer short rides to the JCC, grocery store, medical appointments, fitness classes, or for older adults to go to their own volunteer jobs!
AgeWell Visits is a friendly home visiting program where older adults spend time with a kind volunteer, who has been screened and trained - someone who can listen and share small tasks or activities.  Some lovely friendships have developed from this program! If you or someone you know could benefit from a friendly visit at home, please call AgeWell Pittsburgh at  412-422-0400  for more information.
We are actively seeking volunteers of all ages who are interested in either driving and/or visiting. Young families with children, high school students and adults of all ages are needed. All volunteers will attend a 1-hour information session. Group trainings can be arranged at your convenience. Jewish Family & Children's Service will process your criminal background clearance and pay for a Driver's History.
To find out more information call Ellen Leger at  412-422-0400  or send an email to  eleger@jfcspgh.org . We need you to help make a difference in an older adult's life!


Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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