19 Shevat, 5783

February 10, 2023

Parshat Yitro

In this week’s parsha, Parshat Yitro, in פרק י”ח, פסוק ז׳ it says: 

וַיֵּצֵא מֹשֶׁה לִקְרַאת חֹתְנוֹ, וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ וַיִּשַּׁק-לוֹ, וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ אִישׁ-לְרֵעֵהוּ, לְשָׁלוֹם; וַיָּבֹאוּ, הָאֹהֱלָה

We see that Moshe Rabbeinu goes out to meet his father-in-law, Yitro, and he bows before him and kisses him. He surely does this as an act of respect for the father of his beloved wife, Tzipporah. Then, the text merely states that the man inquired of the welfare of the other before going into the tent:

וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ אִישׁ-לְרֵעֵהוּ, לְשָׁלוֹם.  

Rav Shlomo Kluger, who was also known as the Maggid of Brody and was a leading Halachic authority and prolific author in the 19th century, found it interesting that both Moshe and Yitro could be called איש, “man,” and the seeming problem of who asked whom of the other’s welfare. After all, איש (man) could refer to Moshe and it could also be referring to Yitro. Was Yitro asking Moshe? Was Moshe asking Yitro? Or, perhaps, they each asked the other?

He answers this question by indicating that clearly it was Moshe who inquired about Yitro’s welfare. How do we know this? Because, as he says, it is the way of the world that all famous people are known to the rest of the world and there is no need to ask about their welfare.

With regard to famous people, indeed in our day we would call them “celebrities,” and no one needs to ask what has been going on with them. No one needs to ask: What is new with them? What have they been wearing? With whom were they seen? Everybody knows this readily available information.

Moshe is perhaps THE “celebrity of all celebrities.” If today we all know that Beyonce just broke the record for all-time Grammy Awards and we all know the current condition (we hope!) of Jalen Hurts’ right shoulder, surely in those days everybody knew what was going on with the ultimate prophet and seer “נביא ומביט,” and there was certainly no need for Yitro to ask Moshe how HE was doing.

Upcoming Events:

February 12 - Sunday Morning Tefillah in the Kohelet Yeshiva Middle School Beit Midrash at 9:00 AM

February 19th - No Sunday Morning Tefillah at School

February 20 - Presidents' Day, No School

February 27 - HS STEM Day

February 28 - LS/MS Parent Teacher Conferences on ZOOM, No School for K-8

March 2 - Kohelet "In-School" Cafe

March 3 - LS/MS Dress Up Day

March 5 - PTSO Bingo Family Event

March 6 - Ta'anit Esther, Early Dismissal (Grades 6-12: 1:00 PM; Grades 1-5: 1:15 PM)

March 7 - Purim - No School, Women's Megillah Reading at 10:15 AM

See what else is coming up at Kohelet Yeshiva here.

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In our day, so-called celebrities cannot even slightly approach the greatness of Moshe Rabbeinu, let alone exceed his fame. They are but a “flash in the pan” type of celebrity and a generation or two later are forgotten. Moshe, the ultimate leader and דוגמה of greatness, has a reputation that has endured for millenia. We cannot even begin to compare the attributes of our current “celebrities” with his greatness. So, surely, Yitro, and everyone else, knew what was going on and had no need to ask Moshe how he was doing.

For this reason, Rav Kluger concludes that it had to be Moshe who asked regarding the welfare of his father-in-law.

Today, we can learn another lesson from this: even a man of Moshe’s greatness bowed and kissed his father-in-law and troubled himself to stop and to inquire about his welfare.  

That is the story of greatness: “Celebrity” is fleeting; however, true greatness,

גדולה אמיתית, endures.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Aviya Ben Yashar

Kohelet Yeshiva 23rd Annual Gala

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 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

Students in all three of our divisions had a fun time celebrating Tu B'Shevat this week. Chag Sameach!

Mazal Tov to our 2nd and 3rd graders on their Chagigat Chumash last Sunday! This wonderful event celebrated our students’ growth in Chumash learning over the past two years. In preparation for their Chagigat Chumash, our students chose the story in parshiyot Lech Lecha and Vayera that was most meaningful to them and recreated the story by writing their own scripts, constructing their own backgrounds, and designing their own costumes and props. Both grades were given their very own Chumash, which will accompany them during their Kohelet Yeshiva Lab School journey through Sefer Bereishit in the coming years.

We had an exciting and uplifting KYHS Color War 2023! The quality of the final presentations was outstanding, and it was wonderful to see our students exhibit such a tremendous sense of leadership and camaraderie throughout Color War. While the Yellow Team may have ended up with more points, every one of our students was a true winner. Great job all around!

We had an amazing Middle School Shabbaton last weekend with Torah learning, meaningful tefillah, great ruach, delicious food, lots of fun, and an awesome Motzei Shabbat activity! Thanks to the students from Yeshiva University’s MafTeach School Community Fellowship who spent Shabbat with us during their second visit to Kohelet Yeshiva this year.

Our students did a fantastic job representing KYHS this week at the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) Conference in Stamford, CT, and showcasing all that they have learned about the complex world of international diplomacy.

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.

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