Shalom Parents. This past Sunday, we read the story of the Tower of Babel. We talked about how pursuit of fame and glory for its own sake is harmful to society as a whole. E.g., who was taking care of the sick people in Babel (Bavel, in Hebrew) while all resources were devoted to the building of this tower? This segued nicely into learning about Gemli'ut Chasidim - Acts of Kindness. Judaism places great emphasis on the importance of performing "random acts of kindness." There is a list that I gave the students with some examples, but it is not comprehensive. Attempts to achieve a just socieyt (tzedakah comes from the root word for justice) cannot be realized until we treat each other with dignity, respect and kindness. Based on these lessons, we took a vote as to whether we should donate some of our tzedakah to help those in Northern California who have lost everything. The vote was a unanimous yes. On behalf of the SSJS 3rd grade class, I made a $36 donation to an organization recommended by both my firm's SF office administrator and the New York Times: the California Community Foundation's Wildfire Relief Fund. http://www.calfund.org/wildfire-relief-fund/ (Why $36? In Hebrew, letters have numerical values. The word for life in Hebrew, chai, has a value of 18 (the yud = 10, the chet = 8), and so it is a long-held Jewish tradition to donate in $18 increments. I will take 10% of what we have collected so far in class, and provide the remainder to round up to $36.)
REMINDER: the SSJS chanukiyah (aka menorah specifically for Chanukah) contest will take place on Dec. 9th! Hopefully you received the handout about the contest; if not, let me know if you would like information. This is totally voluntary - only do this if it will be fun for you and your family.
Wishing you a meaningful Thanksgiving, a peaceful Shabbat, and with gratitude to all of you for sharing your amazing kids with me this year,