Wednesday, January 22, 2020

On Friday, the 17 of Cheshvan, the day about which Parshat Noach declares “nivke’u kol ma’ayanot tehom; the great fountains of the deep were burst open” (Bereishit 7:11), Ma’ayanot celebrated what makes Ma’ayanot special by launching a special school-wide learning initiative. Inspired by the upcoming Siyum HaShas, Ma’ayanot has committed to finish, as a school, the four masechtot that grades nine through 12 are learning this year (Berachot, Bava Kamma, Sanhedrin and Kiddushin) by the last day of Chanukah, with each student committing to learn one daf that she will make her own. With spirited dancing, a treasure-themed breakfast and inspiring divrei Torah, Rabbi Zev Prince and the students of the Holiday Enhancement Committee created an inspirational “Yom Ma’ayanot” program. Rabbi Prince compared Torah to the water of “ma’ayanot,” in that it is deep, constantly moving forward, accessible and necessary for life. He recalled the vision of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, Ma’ayanot’s founding posek, at the school’s opening. Rabbi Prince also shared the story of Rav Meir Shapiro, who founded Daf Yomi in 1923, and who left an eternal legacy for Klal Yisrael’s Torah learning. Dena Block, director of admissions, a Talmud teacher and a Ma’ayanot alumna, shared her own struggle and ultimate mastery of a difficult Tosafot in her senior year at Ma’ayanot, and encouraged students that by working hard at challenging learning, they will reap an immeasurable sense of accomplishment. Ma’ayanot’s Talmud teachers will guide each student in the learning of her daf and give her a unique opportunity to show her mastery of the material. Molly Cohen, a junior, said that “Though it’s extra work, I look forward to interesting learning and a chance to improve my Gemara skills.” Added her classmate Ayelet Fischer, “It’s exciting that every single student can contribute to this group effort!”