As we were studying the first mishna in Berachot and came to Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion that we may recite the evening shema “when the kohanim enter the Temple to eat their teruma”, the hands shot up in the air. “We looked at the commentary”, the students said, “and we see that Rabbi Eliezer means that we can say the shema at nightfall, when it’s dark, because that is when the kohanim could eat their terumah food.” I congratulated them on figuring that out. They continued, “but if he meant nightfall, why didn’t Rabbi Eliezer just say that? Why the reference to the destroyed Temple and to no longer viable kohanim and teruma foods?”
“Excellent question,” I said.
Just then Rabbi Seltzer walked into the room…and a magical moment of pluralistic Torah learning began.
I, an Orthodox rabbi, answered the students’ question by pointing out that the Rabbis of the Mishna would constantly refer to the Temple and the rituals performed there not only to remind the people of their glorious past but also to emphasize their unshakeable faith that the Temple would be rebuilt and the practices of old will once again resume.
Rabbi Seltzer, a Conservative rabbi on the other hand, offered that the Rabbis understood the realities that lay before them and grasped that Judaism was forever changed by the loss of the Temple. The reimagining of Judaism required radically new thinking that made reference to the past as a way to establish credibility and authenticity. Their view of the future did not necessarily encompass the old ways of the Temple.
Two rabbis…two opinions.
And then the students began offering their ideas and opinions about what the Rabbis might have been thinking. There was no shouting, no dissing, and no rolling of the eyes.
There was conversation and dialogue. There was respect, integrity and a sense of community.
There was Torah.
And there were smiles on the faces of two rabbis at the Cardin School.
~Rabbi Yaakov Chaitovsky
October is National Bully Prevention Month! Last week marked the kickoff of the counseling department’s Bully Prevention initiative. Mrs. Villet and Ms. Schein spoke to the students about the recent media attention on bullying that is physical, verbal, and non-verbal. The students discussed the recent Rutgers tragedy and other teenager suicides as a result of bullying. As a community, we want to make sure no student ever feels that desperate or left out.
The 11th graders participated in a classroom activity with Ms. Schein where they learned about many different types of bullying and the effects on victims, bystanders, and bullies. The students made posters advocating against the different types of bullying. These posters are displayed in the modulars and are meant to teach other students about the different types of bullying and how to recognize and prevent these types of behaviors.
Throughout the month, Mrs. Villet and Ms. Schein will continue to work with students, faculty, and parents on increasing sensitivity and empathy and creating a school culture free of bullying. The Cardin students always show tremendous derech eretz and the counseling department is hopeful that Cardin students will continue to be role models for tolerance and acceptance throughout our community.
~Hallie M. Schein
Director of College Counseling
Wise money management skills do not come easy for many people. Most of us never received formal education in budgeting, saving, and spending. Thankfully, the 12th grade students in Personal Finance are being introduced to the basics of financial literacy. Many of the topics we cover are suggested by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), an independent nonprofit organization committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals.
Recently, NEFE commissioned a study examining impulse buying which showed that 80% percent of American adults say they’ve made impulse purchases in the past year. The NEFE survey found that 66 percent of adults who have made an impulse purchase this year say they later regretted that decision. Controlling our spending impulse is an important lesson to learn. Perhaps all of us would benefit from reviewing the following tips from NEFE.
CFO and Personal Finance Instructor
Take Control of Your Spending with These Tips:
• Prioritize. Before you head to the store, make a list and stick to it. You will avoid falling prey to enticing retailer displays and coming home with all sorts of stuff you don’t need.
• Return. If you end up buying something you don’t need, return it immediately. If you feel that you are unable to return to the “scene of the crime” without either spending more or exchanging for a lower-priced item, ask a spouse or friend to run the errand for you.
• Save receipts. Keep all receipts in a designated pocket of your purse or checkbook for easy recovery.
• Keep the tags on. Resist the urge to rip off the tag on an item after you buy it. It could have a defect you don’t see in the store, or you could decide you don’t like it the next day.
• Be patient. While shopping, if you see something you like, leave the store for 30 minutes. You might find you don’t want the item as much as you thought.
• Use cash. Leave your credit cards at home, and shop with cash. That way you know you won’t have enough money to buy extra stuff, even if you are tempted.
• Find a buddy. Shop with a trusted friend or relative who will tell you “no” if you feel the urge to spend needlessly.
• Avoid retail therapy. If you have had a bad day, the last thing you should do is go shopping. Find another activity, such as exercise, to make you feel better.