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26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck, NY 11023 (516) 487-6100                                                              Shabbat Announcements Vayakhel 5782
         groups. Initially neither group knew of the existence of the   I suggest that the passage is not a joke but a precisely
         other. They were staying in cabins far apart. The first week  calibrated truth. To understand it we must read the
         was dedicated to team-building. The boys hiked and swam   continuation: “Scholars increase peace in the world as it is
         together. Each group chose a name for itself – they became  said, ‘All your children shall be learned of the Lord and
         The Eagles and the Rattlers. They stenciled the names on   great will be the peace of your children’ (Isaiah 54:13).
         their shirts and flags. Then, for four days they were   Read not ‘your children’ but ‘your builders.’” When scholars
         introduced to one another through a series of competitions.  become builders they create peace. If you seek to create a
         There were trophies, medals and prizes for the winners, and  community out of strongly individualistic people, you have
         nothing for the losers. Almost immediately there was   to turn them into builders. That is what Moses did in
         tension between them: name-calling, teasing, and     Vayakhel.
         derogatory songs. It got worse. Each burned the other’s
         flag and raided their cabins. They objected to eating   Team-building, even after a disaster like the golden calf, is
         together with the others in the same dining hall.    neither a mystery nor a miracle. It is done by setting the
                                                              group a task, one that speaks to their passions and one no
         Stage 3 was called the ‘integration phase’. Meetings were   subsection of the group can achieve alone. It must be
         arranged. The two groups watched films together. They lit   constructive. Every member of the group must be able to
         Fourth-of-July firecrackers together. The hope was that   make a unique contribution and then feel that it has been
         these face-to-face encounters would lessen tensions and   valued. Each must be able to say, with pride: I helped
         lead to reconciliation. They didn’t. Several broke up with   make this. That is what Moses understood and did. He
         the children throwing food at one another.           knew that if you want to build a team, create a team that
         In stage 4, the researchers arranged situations in which a
         problem arose that threatened both groups simultaneously.
         The first was a blockage in the supply of drinking water to
         the camp. The two groups identified the problem separately
         and gathered at the point where the blockage had occurred.
         They worked together to remove it and celebrated together
         when they succeeded. In another, both groups voted to
         watch some films. The researchers explained that the films
         would cost money to hire, and there was not enough in
         camp funds to do so. Both groups agreed to contribute an
         equal share to the cost. In a third, the coach on which they
         were travelling stalled, and the boys had to work together
         to push it. By the time the trials were over, the boys had
         stopped having negative images of the other side. On the
         final bus ride home, the members of one team used their   GNS Class Schedule
         prize money to buy drinks for everyone.               Sunday
         Similar outcomes have emerged from other studies. The   9:15 am: Midrash Class - Rabbi Polakoff
         conclusion is revolutionary. You can turn even hostile
         factions into a single cohesive group so long as they are   Monday
         faced with a shared challenge that all can achieve together   8:30 am: Scholars’ Kollel - Rabbi Froimowitz
         but none can do alone. Rabbi Norman Lamm, former      8:30 pm: Gemara Sota - Rabbi Polakoff
         President of Yeshiva University, once remarked that he
         knew of only one joke in the Mishnah, the statement that   Tuesday
         “Scholars increase peace in the world” (Brachot 64a).   8:30 am: Scholars’ Kollel - Rabbi Polakoff
         Rabbis are known for their disagreements. How then can
         they be said to increase peace in the world?          Wednesday
                                                               8:30 am: Scholars’ Kollel - Dr. Alan Mazurek
                              Great Neck Synagogue             9:00 pm: WNL Chabura - Rabbi Lichter
                     26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck , NY 11023
                                  516-487-6100                 Thursday
                                                               8:30 am: Scholars’ Kollel - Rabbi Lichter
                         Rabbi Dale Polakoff, Rabbi            9:15 am: Women’s Chumash - Rabbi Polakoff
                      Rabbi Ian Lichter, Assistant Rabbi
                   Rabbi Yehoshua Lefkowitz, Intern Rabbi      Friday
                    Dr. Ephraim Wolf, z”l, Rabbi Emeritus      8:30 am: Scholars’ Kollel - Rabbi Froimowitz
                           Yitzy Spinner, Cantor
                    Eleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor Emeritus     Shabbat
          Rabbi Dr. Michael & Zehava Atlas, Youth Rabbi & Youth Director   8:30 am: Parsha Shiur
                      Mark Twersky, Executive Director         before Mincha: Gemara Moed Katan
                     Dr. James Frisch, Assistant Director      Rabbis Polakoff & Lichter
                          Jordan Wolf, President
                     Dov Sassoon, Chairman of the Board
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