June 17, 2024
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June 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It was a beautiful day, not too warm, not too cool. Just the kind of day Yael liked. She and her friend Leah were walking home from school, making plans for the afternoon, when Yael noticed something weird. Down the block there was a group of kids gathered, yelling and laughing.

“What’s going on over there?” Yael asked her friend. “I don’t know,” answered Leah, “But I suggest we keep out of it.” As they got closer, Yael saw a group of boys surrounding a

smaller boy in the middle. The boy in the middle looked very confused and upset. The boys surrounding him were calling him names and pretending to hit and kick him. Yael was shocked. “Who’s that boy? Why are they doing that to him?” she asked one of the kids on the outside of the group. “Oh, he’s just the weird kid on the block,” laughed the boy. “The guys are having a little fun, hah-hah.”

Meanwhile, the boy in the middle had started to cry, which only made the boys tease him harder. “How can this go on?!” said Yael to her friend. “Everyone’s just standing around and watching and nobody’s doing anything to help that poor boy!”

“Well, we certainly can’t do anything about it,” answered Leah. But Yael couldn’t hold herself back any longer. “If no one else will stop this, I will,” she thought to herself. Without a word, she pushed herself into the middle of the circle. Suddenly everyone was quiet, shocked to see a girl standing there from out of nowhere. Yael took her chance and spoke up. She looked right at Natan, the biggest boy there. She was friends with his sister. “How can boys like you act this way?!” she shouted, trying not to show how scared she felt. “This boy didn’t hurt anyone, and you’re all treating him like this. Shame on you!”

There was silence. Everyone turned and looked at Natan. His head was down. “She’s right,” he said softly. “Leave the kid alone.” The boy in the middle jumped up and ran away, giving Yael a happy smile. The group slowly broke up and Yael and her friend went on their way. “Wow, you are brave!” said Leah, admiring Yael. “I’m not brave,” answered Yael. “I just felt like I didn’t have a choice.”

Connection to the parsha:

In this week’s parsha we learn about Pinchas. He was the grandson of Aaron Hakohen. The Jewish people made a big mistake. The people of Midian had convinced some Jews to go against the Torah. The Jews were acting very wrongly. Hashem was killing a lot of people because they were going against the Torah, but nobody was standing up to stop them. Pinchas decided that he couldn’t just look at them. He stood up for what was right, and because of him, a lot of Jews were saved. We learn from here that there are times that a person has to take action for what is right.

Questions for the week:

Do you ever stand up for people?

Has someone ever stood up for you?

If so, how did you feel?

Challenge for the week:

If people are doing the wrong thing, instead of watching, tell them to stop.


Maayan Singer is a rising fourth grader at Yeshivat He’atid who loves to find lessons in the parsha and share them with the world.

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