Erev Shabbos Parashas Vayera 5773

Dear Parents,When we think of the Akeidah, the binding of Yitzchak, we naturally focus on the seemingly super human faith of Avraham Avinu that propelled him to the pinnacle of greatness in his subservience to Hashem, ready to sacrifice his beloved son. Within the events leading up to the Akeida there are also other lessons to be gleaned that speak to every generation of our people and especially to us, in our Yeshiva.As Avraham, Yitzchak and their entourage entered the hills adjacent to their destination, the Pasuk tells us (Bereishis 22:4 )“…. Vaya’ar Es Hamokom MeRachok” …and he saw the place from afar. The Daas Zekeinim brings a Medrash that says Avraham asked Yitzchak what he saw. Yitzchak saw what Avraham saw – the cloud of the shechina (divine presence) hovering over the mountain. The others in the group were also asked the same question – they answered that they saw nothing. There are places that have a special uniqueness, but not everyone can appreciate that quality. Just as the kedusha of Shabbos is only felt by one steeped in its observance, so too the atmosphere of a shul or Beis Medrash will only elevate one sensitive to the closeness of Hashem. This holds true for us and for our children who come to school daily to learn, daven and grow in their appreciation for and sensitivity to Kedusha.Upon entering the Toras Chaim Toras Emes campus, one sees young children playing happily, running and laughing. Initially, this school scene may resemble other early childhood and elementary school programs. However, what is not very obvious at first glance, is the extraordinary uniqueness of our school and the purpose for which this institution was created and continues to flourish. Toras Emes is a Makom Torah that not only has the inherent sanctity of any Torah institution, but has an elevated sense of purpose, as well. We would like all who enter our campus to recognize they are entering more than a child’s playground and school, but rather a location that represents a higher calling and a greater level of sanctity.One manifestation of this aspect of the school is the standard for dress we set for adults, that reflects the dignity and holiness of our sacred Torah. Personal standards of modesty are each individual’s right to choose, but one who comes to a place of Torah should dress in a manner consistent with sanctifying the Torah, a manner of dress that reflects the Kedusha requisite to invite Hashem into our establishment. We urge each parent, family member and friend to keep this in mind when visiting our campus, whether for a quick delivery or pickup or for a school program. While it is clearly unintentional, men in shorts or without head covering or in open shirts are not demonstrating respect for our Makom Torah. Women in pants, low cut tops, short skirts, very short sleeves or tight fitting or clingy attire are inadvertently demonstrating a disregard for the sanctity of a Torah school. We are convinced that no adult would willingly and purposefully act in a way that undermines the very values they work so hard for their children to achieve.Toras Chaim Toras Emes is a place where children and adults can be inspired to learn and grow. We want our children to perceive holiness where it is to be found, as our forefathers did. If we are unified as parents and educators and strive together for greater accomplishments, we will, in turn, inspire our precious children to reach their vast potential in knowledge, values and spirituality.Have an inspired, sanctified Shabbos,

Rabbi Kalman BaumannPrincipal

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