Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Last night's Girls Night Out: Packing clothing for Yad Leah
Last night's program was a tremendous success. 45 girls from all grades (many freshmen) came to hear Morah Racheli discuss the double standard of chessed. On the one hand there is a theme of olam chesed yibaneh - this world revolves around chessed, which implies that there are recipients of chessed. On the other hand is the notion of sonei matanos yichye, which seems to not leave any room for doing chessed if one is not to receive it. Morah Racheli then cited Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch who highlighted that this double standard exists in several places, such as not to withhold wages, but one who is neglected wages shouldn't curse the one responsible for the injustice; the moral imperative not to be judgemental, while at the same time the obligation to judge a person favorably. The true definition of chessed, therefore, is one who does for others but does not expect back in return. Rav Eliyahu Dessler's notion that it is the little things of the day-to-day that is true chessed was highlighted by a series of very inspiring clips that literally had some of the seniors in tears. The feedback from many of the girls afterwards was that Morah Racheli's presentation really moved them.
We then proceeded to the cafteria where hundreds of bags were assembled, collected over a period of 3 weeks. The girls (along with Morah Racheli & daughter) sorted, folded, and packed in a very efficient manner. All in all we packed 45 boxes, ready to be shipped to needy families in Israel. The program was spearheaded by Erika Davidoff and Nicole Edi, and many others helped in various aspects of the program - a team effort where the students really felt empowered by the notion that they were making a difference.
-Rabbi Shelley Morris