Erev Shavuot

5 Sivan 5780

May 28, 2020

 

Dear ICJA Family:

 

Shavuot begins in just a few hours, and this year, it will be so very different from any Shavuot we have ever experienced. Nevertheless, there is so much we can do to hold on to the core lesson and opportunities of this holiday.

 

Rabbi Norman Lamm once spoke of the “rays of light” which radiated from Moshe Rabbeinu’s face after he came back from atop Mt.  Sinai. According to one midrash (Shemot Rabbah), that light came from a section of the tablets held, neither by G-d nor by Moshe – the two hand-breadths in the middle.

Said Rabbi Lamm, that the upper part of the tablets which were held by G-d, represent the portion of our lives that are beyond our control. The lower part held by Moshe represents the portion of our lives upon which we have a firm grasp. But the middle portion of those tablets held neither by G-d or Moshe, represents the difference between the real and the ideal, between our accomplishments and divine aspirations.

 

Every Shavuot, we have the opportunity to figuratively stretch out our hands and cover those two handbreadths, drawing closer to G-d’s by celebrating Sinai and studying Torah. Most years, we have structured programs in our synagogues to help us learn. This year we don’t. Instead, we have materials from (click on these links) our YU KollelBnei Akiva and NCSY. In addition, the OU has collected resources, and cRc has archived the classes taught by our community’s rabbis.

This Shavuot let’s hold on to the core lessons and opportunities of these sacred days by studying Torah together as a family. Learn together, parents and children, not only to reinforce what we do every day at ICJA – but to prove that no matter the challenge we face, we will continue to celebrate the beauty and the glory of Sinai!

On a somber note, we extend our condolences to Rabbi Reuven Gross on the passing yesterday of his mother, a”h. Because of Shavuot, Rabbi Gross is sitting shiva only until 6 pm today. He can be reached at 773.715.4603 or via zoom from 3:30-4:30 https://zoom.us/j/2197260146 .

 

Monday, the schedule will be as follows:

Period 2: 9:30 – 10:10 a.m.

Period 3: 10:15 – 10:55 a.m.

Period 4: 11:00 – 11:40 a.m.

Break

Period 10: 1:00 -1:40 p.m.

Period 11: 1:45 – 2:25 p.m.

Period 12: 2:30 – 3:10 p.m.

 

Earlier today you received the ICJA Newsletter with many exciting things that happened this past week. Of VERY special note is the release of our Virtual Oratory Fair. Ms. Goldstein and her students have a created a great collection of speeches that include personal reflections, famous readings and much more. Find some time to watch the and listen to our creative and talented public speaking students! Click here.

Tonight, before Yom Tov, remember to make an eruv tavshilin!

 

Finally, last night I wrote to all of the seniors about the annual “Yehudi HaTov Award.” This award was established in memory of our alum, Jason Lerner, z” l (’95) and is given to one senior, selected by the class, as most exemplifying what it means to be a “good Jew.” Seniors, if you have not yet sent me your nominee for this award, please do so ASAP.

 

Stay safe, stay inspired, stay in touch, and chag sameach!

 

B’virkat HaTorah,

 

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

 

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UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER

Jun 3, 8 p.m. – Parent Town Hall Meeting click here 

June 3 – Deadline for students to submit their “Service Points.” Click here for the online form

June 8-12 ICJA Final Assessments Week

Aug 16 – 1 p.m. ICJA Graduation

 

OPPORTUNITIES