5 Shevat, 5783

January 27, 2023

Parshat Bo

With all of the excitement of the impending Exodus it is easy to lose sight of another momentous event which takes place in Parshat Bo, and that is the beginning of the transmission of Mitzvot. Hashem introduces the Mitzvot with the commandment of Kiddush HaChodesh, sanctification of the new moon. The verse states “This month shall be for you the beginning of the months; it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.” (Shemot 12:2)

Of all the Mitzvot, why does Hashem choose the Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh as the first of the commandments to the Jewish people? There are many other Mitzvot that are seemingly more central to our religious observant life which would appear more appropriate to serve as the Jewish people’s initiation to the Mitzvot. However, through a deeper understanding of this Mitzvah, we can see that in fact this is the perfect way to introduce us to Jewish Law.

As we consider this Mitzvah, we see that its entire foundation is rooted in man’s partnership with Hashem. It is not merely a commandment to sanctify the new moon but rather requires the people to establish the new moon. In order for the new month to be declared, two witnesses had to appear before the Beit Din and testify that they had seen the new moon. Then the court would decide if the new month should be declared. Only once the court determined that the new moon was sanctified did the new month begin. The entire Jewish calendar and the onset of the holidays is placed into the hands of the people.

Upcoming Events:

January 28 - 4/5 Motzei Shabbat Event

January 29 - Sunday Morning Tefillah in the Kohelet Yeshiva Beit Midrash at 9:00 AM

January 30 - 9th Grade Parent: Let's Talk! Program from 7:00 - 8:00 PM

February 1 - Presentation to High School Students by Charlotte Korchak, Senior Educator and Director of International Student Programs at StandWithUs

February 3-4 - Middle School Shabbaton

February 5 - 2/3 Chagigat Chumash

February 5-7 - Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN)

February 20 - Presidents' Day, No School

See what else is coming up at Kohelet Yeshiva here.

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So, while Hashem is controlling the cycle of the moon up in the heavens, He creates a partnership with the people by giving man control over the determination of Jewish time. The immense power given through this Mitzvah presents such a strong message to a people emerging from under Egyptian rule. As slaves, the people were completely powerless and at the whim of their masters. Now they are being empowered and are invited to serve as partners with G-d.

In “Reflections of the Rav,” Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik suggests that the fundamental difference between a free person and a slave is the control of time. Through the Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh, Hashem is handing control of time over to the people. Your time now belongs to you, and you have the incredible power and responsibility to fill your time wisely and control your destiny.

This idea is also reflected in the text of the Pesach Haggadah. The Ba’al Haggadah suggests that perhaps we should begin the Mitzvah of retelling the story of leaving Egypt from Rosh Chodesh Nissan rather than from Erev Pesach, as many of the commentators believe that this was the beginning of the redemption. Rav Yitzchak Mirsky explains that this is because the Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh was given on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Once the people gained control over their own time, they began their transition from slavery to freedom.

With the busyness of our day-to-day lives and the constant pulls at our time, it is easy to get caught up and fall into the many distractions which come our way. This first Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh serves as a reminder to us that our time is in our hands, and it is up to us to choose to infuse our lives with meaning and purpose.

Shabbat Shalom, 

Mrs. Ora Davies

Kohelet Yeshiva 23rd Annual Gala

Alumni Corner

Calling All Kohelet Yeshiva High School and Stern Hebrew High School Alumni...

Click here to fill out the Kohelet Yeshiva/Stern Hebrew High School Alumni Association Google form and you could win AirPods Pro!

Coming Up:

High School Happenings

Mitzvah Momentum!

We are excited about a school-wide (K-8), year-long initiative that we introduced to the students called Mitzvah Momentum!

Students in grades K-8 will be focusing on a particular mitzvah during each part of the year. In January-February we are focusing on Bikur Cholim, March-April will be Tzedakah, and May-June will be Hakarat HaTov. 

There are various components to this program depending on the age of your child, outlined in the Mitzvah Momentum At Home Chart that appears above. 

As part of this program, we are asking each Kohelet family to discuss a Chessed that you would like to get involved in as a family during December. Please click here to download the Mitzvah Momentum At Home Chart and then fill in your family's Chessed and attach a picture of your family performing the Chessed (if you'd like).

News from Kohelet Yeshiva

Both our boys and girls middle school basketball teams were recently in action against Politz Day School of Cherry Hill. We saw two good games and a great effort by both teams! Go Kings!

Our 9/10 chemistry classes performed the flame test lab this week. Every element burns with a unique color due to the number of electrons each contains. Fun fact: this is the basis of fireworks!

As they continue working on their Ivrit skills, our 1st and 2nd graders got together to do a fun activity run by our amazing Bat Sherut, Arbel!

In conjunction with the high school's monthly dress-down day, we also had a second semester kick-off event, which included music, food, and other fun activities.

Updates from the Kohelet Beit Midrash
Parnas HaYom

Sponsor a day or a week of learning at Kohelet Yeshiva. Contact Nachi Troodler at ntroodler@koheletyeshiva.org for details or click here to sign up.

Thank you to our recent Parnas HaYom Sponsors!

January 26th

Michael and Michal Twersky

In commemoration of the 2nd yahrtzeit of Yossi Mazurek, z"l.

May his neshama have an aliyah.

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January 19th

The Braffman, Gotfried, Levitt, Obstfeld, Stollman, and Troodler Families

In memory of Barbara Judith Jacobson, z"l,

ברכה יהודית בת הרב אפרים ז"לֹ

Beloved mother of our dear friend Zev Jacobson, a loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and a longtime educator and school administrator who epitomized what it means to learn, love, and live Torah.

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January 18th

Dr. Eliot and Israela Friedman

In memory of Barbara Judith Jacobson (Shimoff), z"l

ברכה יהודית בת הרב אפרים ז"ל

Beloved mother of Dr. Zev Jacobson, beloved mother-in-law of Yonina Jacobson, and beloved grandmother of Tali (KY '12), Ayelet (KY '14), Anat (KY '15), Ephraim (KY '19), Azi (KY '22), Samuel Raanan (KY '28), and Hila (KY '31).

Kohelet Yeshiva | www.koheletyeshiva.org | 223 North Highland Ave, Merion Station, PA 19066
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