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Students Partake In 2,000 Year Old Prozbul Tradition!

This past Friday, the Upper School welcomed Rabbi Willig, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, Av Beit Din of the Beit Din of America, and leading developer and promoter of halachic prenuptial agreements. An assembly was held in which Rabbi Willig, along with Rabbi Kenny Shaiowitz, taught students about prozbul. At the end of the Shmita year, the Torah mandates that all loan debts be canceled. During the Second Temple period, lenders would not give loans to the poor and disadvantaged, out of fear that they would not get their money back. Rabbi Hillel, along with the Beit Din, created the prozbul - the transferring of all personal loan debts to the courts as the law of remission does not apply to loans within the public domain. This innovation allowed reprieve for the less fortunate. Students were taught that the nature of prozbul is to be less competitive with peers and more compassionate.

This was Rabbi Willig's third shmita visit in a row! After teaching students about prozbul, Rabbi Willig taught about agunah, a Jewish woman who is halachically stuck in her marriage due to her husband's refusal of a get. He then informed students on the importance of a prenup as it protects both a husband and wife. After the assembly, students were able to sign their own prozbul documents, participating in a tradition that has been alive for over 2,000 years! 

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On Monday, September 12, students were welcomed into the Beit Midrash for Mishmar- an opportunity for them to continue their learning after school. A round-table lesson commenced with pizza, cookies, and cupcakes- in celebration of Rabbi Manu Hass's birthday- on the table. Rabbi Hass introduced the idea of why Rosh Hashanah comes before Yom Kippur and students were encouraged to ask and answer questions. The lesson concluded that the main point of Rosh Hashanah is to come face to face with Hashem and to think solely of Him. And once face to face with God, we can start to understand why we were created and what He wants for us. Only once this foundation is made can we start to work towards a successful year - hence why Rosh Hashanah is before Yom Kippur. The event ended in cheers and singing.

Mishmar is sponsored by the Aschendors family and starts at 4:45 in the Beit Midrash on Mondays and Tuesdays. All US students are encouraged to join Rabbi Manu Hass and Dr. Ethan Rotenberg.

To sign up, click here

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students hold up sign that reads "cognitive class camera"

This year's TEC fair was a huge success. Students spent most of the second semester working in groups on their final projects. Last Monday, they presented their projects to all students and faculty. They gave a pitch, explaining their design process, and for most groups, showing a completed working prototype. Before presenting, they had the opportunity of hearing from Adam Scheer '90 who discussed his various leadership roles at Technology companies in the US and Israel since graduating from Ramaz and why learning about engineering now is so important for the future. The projects were innovative and impressive. Highlights include: the "Distance Cane" by Stella H., Lily F. and Morris D. which is a cane for blind people that vibrates when it gets close to an object; "U'venakeh - UV Sanitizing Technology" by Sarah K.and Maya P. which is a device that sanitizes door handles and cell phones with UV technology; "Safe Med" by Dylan K., Heidi B., Keren T., which is a device that opens pill boxes electronically using a keypad with a password; "A Mazing" by Julius Z., Alex O., and Ness A. which is a movable maze attached to a joystick that moves the maze around to get the ball to move through it. Please click here for pictures from the TEC fair.

Please click here to see our fall edition of the RamTEC newsletter in case you missed it. Next edition will be out this fall!

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