April 17, 2024
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April 17, 2024
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Annual MTA Arista Dinner

April 29 was the annual MTA dinner for Arista, The National Honor Society. The dinner bid farewell to all of the senior Arista members who will be graduating in a few weeks, while welcoming the new, incoming junior Arista members.

The National Honor Society was created in 1921, nearly a century ago, and has since become the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership, and public service. MTA Arista members propose school projects upon their entrance into the organization in their junior year, ranging from running blood drives, to creating an innovative and free tutoring program throughout the school, called “Each-One-Teach-One.”

One of the dinner speakers, Yehuda Weschler, a former president of Arista, pointed out one aspect about Arista in particular that applies to life in general, as well. “We will not all be leaders, in fact, most of us will be followers; however, even though we will not all be leaders, we all have the potential to be leaders.” Another one of the speakers, Rafi Anapolle, now also a former president of Arista, focused on some of the aspects of the life of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt’l (who had just passed away) that apply to every Jew, every day. Rafi explained how even though the main focus in life should first and foremost be serving the creator—Hashem—one must never forget the duties towards friends, family and anyone in need.

The main speaker of the night was MTA’s own Rabbi Michael Taubes, Rosh Yeshiva of YUHSB/MTA. Rabbi Taubes delivered a powerful Jewish history lecture—which is the custom at the annual Arista dinner and thanks to an endowment from the family of Mr. Bruno Frankel—about complex events that played a role in the creation of Israel, the Jewish State. Focusing on a mysterious murder of a young political leader and the dramatic trials which followed, Rabbi Taubes explained the background politics and ideologies that dominated the time before the birth of the State of Israel in 1948. He described how parties from all ranges of the political spectrum—from religious to traditional, from liberal to conservative, and so on—affected the creation of Israel as a Jewish State. One central figure Rabbi Taubes focused on was Rav Kook, zt’l, and how he fought to make sure Israel would be not only a Jewish State, but a religious state; and yet he tried hard to unite all Jews, while standing up for what he believed in.

The boys are excited for the rest of this year and the year to come.

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