Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)

Every parsha in Shmot, Vayikra, and Bamidbar explicitly mentions Moshe by name -- except this week’s parsha of Tetzaveh. When Moshe pleads with Hashem to spare our ancestors after the sin of the Golden Calf, he declares that if Hashem will not forgive the people, then “erase me from Your book that You have written” (Shmot 32:32). Although this request was conditional, since it was made by a tzaddik, it must be fulfilled in some form. Hence, Moshe’s name was removed from one parsha…but why this week’s?


The word “tetzaveh” means both “command” and “attach” (HaYom Yom, 8 Cheshvan). Hashem is telling Moshe that by commanding the Yidden, they will attach themselves to Hashem’s Essence in the process of following through with Hashem’s instructions. Furthermore, Hashem doesn’t use Moshe’s name, because a name is external, primarily used as a reference for someone else. When one’s essence is revealed, using a name is irrelevant. This is connected to the fact that the parsha of Tetzaveh always falls out during or close to Moshe’s birthday and yahrzeit (7 Adar); one’s birthday is the day that Hashem declared that the world cannot further its advancement to becoming a Dwelling for His Essence in this physical world (דירה בתחתונים; Midrash Tanchuma Nasso 16, as quoted in Tanya ch. 36) without that individual fulfilling his various tasks of elevating fallen sparks and refining the middos of his animal soul (Kuntres HaTefilah).


What is the essential nature of Moshe? His being was bound up with Torah. Nonetheless, Moshe was willing to risk himself to save those who violated the Torah’s prohibition against avoda zara by building the Golden Calf since “Moshe is Israel and Israel is Moshe” (Rashi on Bamidbar 21:21). The unity of Moshe with the Jewish people is deeper and more fundamental than his unity with Torah. So quintessential is the relationship between the Jewish nation and Moshe that their failing becomes his failing (Likkutei Sichos v. 21, p. 173).


True leadership involves a genuine inward examination into one’s essence, coupled with a willingness to stick one’s neck out for one’s followers, even if it means risking personal loss. And since every Jew possesses a “spark of Moshe,” we must also proceed with self-sacrifice, putting aside our personal interests to help another Jew by bringing them closer to Torah and mitzvos with ahavas Yisroel. Through our Moshe-like self-sacrifice, may we merit the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days!


Shabbat Shalom,


Yeshiva University National Model United Nations

Students Had the Privilege of Competing in YUNMUN

Graphic by Technical Staff

Three days filled with diplomatic discussions and heated debates about pressing world issues: does that not sound invigorating? This is Model United Nations but our school participates in a different foreign policy conference: YUNMUN. Yeshiva University’s Model United Nations is not like your typical high school academic conference; Jewish students from all over the world (yes, some schools from South America and Canada participate too) take on the role of a country to accurately represent that nation’s beliefs. 

Each student from each school is designated to a committee that focuses on specific issues. Tamar Ganz (‘25), for example, was a member of UNICEF, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. As a delegate from the Philippines, she portrayed her country’s ideas on issues ranging from children in Afghanistan to international immunization rates. She believes that, “This year's conference was so fun because I was able to meet so many different people with similar interests to mine.” She also pointed out that: “YUNMUN is not just about the actual countries. You are also able to engage in shtick and learn more about Yeshiva University.” 

You speak. You caucus. You resolve. Model UN, though, is not merely what happens in the committee rooms but also what you do outside of the rooms. It allows students the opportunity to learn about different countries and foreign policies with no expectations—other than to have fun. Next year, when many of you see the email to try out for Model UN, consider it.  Who knows, you just might enjoy it! 

Article by Riley Spitz ('25)

The Storm Lives On

KYHS Basketball Teams Bring the Storm to Their Competitions

Graphic by Joshua Reich ('25)

Girls Varsity Basketball Tournament:

The girls varsity basketball team recently wrapped up an exhilarating journey at the HAFTR Tournament in New York, marking the end of their competitive season. Playing against teams from throughout the country, the team showcased resilience and teamwork throughout the tournament and came away with the Tier 2 Championship. 

Danielle Zaretsky (‘24) reflected on the experience: "Every person on the team played an important role in our Tier 2 championship success, which allowed us to become one big family." They had two wins and three losses in the tournament. Individual MVP trophies were given to Danielle Zaretsky (‘24), Stephanie Reinhard (‘26), and Tali Leubitz (‘25).

Reese Zombek (‘26) found meaning in the experience beyond the basketball court, explaining: "This tournament gave us the opportunity to bond with our team and make new bonds with girls from other teams. Despite the competition, it was a great opportunity to come together as one big Jewish family, especially in these hard times.” The tournament was about more than just basketball; it was a chance for the teams to connect on a deeper level during Shabbat, where they shared meals and sang with different schools, forging new friendships. The Friday night dinner concluded with inspiring stories and speeches from those who have been to Israel since October 7th.

The tournament served as a reminder that, beyond the competition, sports have the power to unite communities and build lasting relationships. The KYHS girls learned that success goes beyond the scoreboard – it's about the bonds formed, lessons learned, and the sense of unity that transcends the game.

Article by Kayla Hoffman ('25)

JV Boys Basketball Tournament:

Last week, KYHS hosted the annual JV Basketball Invitational Tournament inviting seven schools from across the country: HAFTR, North Shore, SAR, Shalhevet, Ramaz, DRS, and Frisch. The tournament is usually one of the most exciting events at KYHS and this year did not disappoint. Several games came down to intense and crucial final minutes– from the third-round Frisch win against their rival SAR, to the nail-biter championship game between SAR and our very own Storm. In the crazy last minutes of that championship game, Katz came back from a ten point deficit to tie it off of two back-to-back clutch threes by Abie Kaweblum (‘26) and jumpers from Ilan Attias (‘26). Although we ultimately lost, giving SAR the crown for the second year in a row, it was amazing to see the entire school unite to wave flags, wear hats, and cheer on Storm together. 

I interviewed Abie's brother, Jake Kawelblum (‘24), who was commentating an intense point-to-point game between Frisch and SAR. Jake’s favorite part of the tournament was, “The three days of constant action and watching [his] brother ball out,” which I think is true for most people. The tournament was also an opportunity for students to make new friends, see old ones, and come together. Overall, the tournament showed our school’s unity and spirit, while providing excitement and entertainment to start off the week. 

Article by Yonah Greenberg ('25)

Language Day

Several Language Classes Met Up to Share Their Knowledge with Others

Graphic By Esti Distenfeld ('26)

On February 14th, tenth grade’s language classes shared their love for languages by participating in an International Language Day. Morah Peretz’s Arabic class and Morah Kaufman’s Spanish class convened to demonstrate their languages and associated cultures to each other and to Morah Peretz’s Hebrew class. Each class represented their culture by bringing in food, decorating the classroom, and dressing like people of their culture. The Spanish class brought in chips and salsa, guacamole, and dulce de leche, while the Arabic class brought hummus, pita chips, and techina. The classroom was decorated with flags of Spanish-speaking countries, a map of the Middle East with each country’s flag and name in Arabic, and posters of the Arabic alphabet. Throughout the room, objects were labeled with their Arabic and Spanish names, providing a learning opportunity for all the students! 

The Arabic students dressed in modest Middle Eastern clothing and the Spanish students wore sombreros, showing their devotion to learning about these cultures! During the meeting, the Spanish class gave a presentation—in Spanish, of course—about Latin America’s culture and famous people who are ethnically from Spanish-speaking countries. The Arabic class demonstrated their knowledge of the language by giving short speeches about themselves in Arabic, then taught the other students about different countries in the Middle East, and finished their presentation with a Kahoot, allowing everyone to show what they learned! Finally, the Spanish class brought a piñata filled with prizes and chocolates to share with everyone! Noa Garson (‘26), a member of Morah Peretz’s Arabic class, shared that, “Language day was a very enlightening experience. I learned about Spanish culture, cuisine, and heritage. It was a great way for students to present the languages that we are proud of learning at KYHS.”

Language day was an incredible opportunity for tenth grade students to talk about different cultures in an engaging way! We hope this is the first of many. Big thanks to Morah Peretz and Morah Kaufman, without whom this experience would not have been possible! 

Article By Esti Distenfeld ('26)

A Win-Win by Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro Shared His Insights on Fighting Antisemitism, Followed with the Stormania Break Out

Graphic by Technical Staff

On February 7th, KYHS had the privilege of hearing from twitter star, Ben Shapiro. He was asked to speak to the students about “Fighting for Israel on Social Media.” First, Shapiro talked about picking your battles. He argued that there are those who have a closed mind and will never be persuaded and suggested that those arguments are not worthwhile. However, in conversations or debates that are of value, it’s important to frame the question or argument. Also, he explained that a key method for fighting for Israel on social media is debunking popular pro-Palestinian slogans. Additionally, Shapiro urged students to read books and educate themselves so that they are fit to combat pro-Palestinian beliefs. 

Then he explained that most people who are pro-Palestine are uneducated and only follow the trendy ideology that, as Shapiro explained, means that, “Being weak equates to being virtuous.” Israel used to have more support when it was the victim to its neighboring Arab countries, but since its massive economic and military growth, Israel is no longer the weak country in the Middle East. Now that Gaza is seen by the world as the victim of this conflict, many choose their side. 

Though he was speaking about a very serious topic, the students enjoyed Ben Shapiro’s humor and advice on battling, as Shapiro so bluntly called them, “Idiots on the internet.” Abby Tache (‘25) said, “It was very interesting to me that even though most of his career is through social media, Ben Shapiro opened his speech by urging us not to be on social media. Also, I learned very helpful tips to combat pro-Palestinian ideologies.” Shapiro concluded his speech by introducing a video which started out with a highlight reel of “Ben Shapiro moments,” but turned into a Stormania Breakout video!

Article by Kira Kornbluth ('25)

Rabbi Mechanic's Workshop

11th Grade Boys had the Zechut to Hear from a Renowned Speaker

Graphic by Ezra Dimont ('25)

On Wednesday of this week, the junior boys gathered in the Beit Midrash to hear Rabbi Daniel Mechanic speak to them on why Judaism is, as he put it, the “true” religion. Having talked to over 300,000 students and over 400 schools, including our own junior girls back in December, Rabbi Mechanic has made it a goal for the past 27 years to help Jewish kids become more frum and more connected to Torah.

Sitting in an assembly for just over two hours is not an easy task. Luckily, the eleventh grade powered through thanks to Rabbi Mechanic’s great stories and witty humor. The rabbi began by recounting the time he was contacted by Larry David, the famous co-creator of the TV show Seinfeld, who invited him to California to answer questions about Judaism. Once there, David hit Rabbi Mechanic with one of the largest questions in theology: “How do we know God exists?” Rabbi Mechanic intelligently responded by saying that, ultimately, wrongly assuming that Hashem doesn’t exist and committing sin is much worse than wrongly assuming Hashem does exist and accepting him. Therefore, a person needs a lot of evidence to prove that Hashem doesn’t exist and that sinning is fine. Since no evidence such as that exists, Rabbi Mechanic explained that believing in Hashem is the better option. David, taken aback by Rabbi Mechanic, went on to learn Pirkei Avot with him for several weeks.

Students quickly found themselves captivated by Rabbi Mechanic’s other stories, which he expertly used to introduce profound Jewish concepts. For instance, he also brought up how he once spoke at Princeton University to prove to a room full of atheists why Judaism is the true religion. He argued that Judaism was the only religion to ever have a story where God revealed himself to millions of people, and that, if the Jews at Har Sinai fabricated the events, there would be many variations and contradictions. Rabbi Mechanic used this as an answer to how we know Judaism is the right way to go.

Rabbi Mechanic ended by telling the boys that Hashem chose us as his “eternal covenant,” and that he would never go back on his word. As the students were dismissed for lunch, many surprisingly stayed behind to ask questions about what he had said, intrigued to hear more. Choosing this renowned speaker was a great opportunity for students to be opened up to deeper topics within Judaism, and we’re happy to have heard such a great person speak!

Article by Sammy Jacobs ('25)

Highlites Staff