by Daniel Jaroslawicz (’14)
On Tuesday morning, the whole school gathered into Lamport Auditorium for a very special pre-Chanukah program. First, we heard from Mr. Chezky Ort, father of Dovid Ort ’14, who spoke about his daughter Sari, OB”M, on the occasion of her firstYahrtzeit, and showed how even after her death at age 12, she is still continuing to inspire so many throughout the world.
Then, we heard a shiur from Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, a noted educator and speaker,  about the importance of Hakaras HaTov. He spoke about how the miracle of Chanukah came about only because the Chashmonaim first made an effort to connect with Hashem on their own, by diligently cleaning and repairing the Mikdash, and then Hashem responded by providing them with the miracle of the oil, which they could appreciate so much more because of the effort they themselves had put in. He challenged us to purify ourselves by doing whatever we can on our own in the best possible way during the holiday of Chanukah, as this is the perfect time to take our own steps and then see and appreciate how Hashem responds by helping us when we need it.
Rabbi Green then challenged each of  us to find one thing, even one small thing, to work on during the next two weeksL’Ilui Nishmas Sari, and sheets with various suggestions were distributed, so that everyone could sign up for something. A pizza lunch at the end of Chanukah, sponsored by the Ort family, will be provided to all students who commit and successfully complete one of the programs presented. It is hoped that we can all use Chanukah to improve ourselves and appreciate both Hashem and each other a little more in ourlives.

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