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Running on Jewish Time

Sunday, January 01, 2006

On Teachers, Real and Otherwise

I realized that I could sum the entire last post into one line:
Women who are still learning and live that which they learn.
And we need a lot more of them .

The way you test a system and evaluate it worth is by its results.

The system is obvious, it is Torah in its entirity. To see the results of this system, you have to locate someone who is so deep into it that he is in actually a 'living torah', a honor that we are perhaps entirely too forthcoming with.

This does not include teachers who are afraid of rashi like the one in ch41, v45 because how do you explain that! to a bunch of thirteen year olds. It just doesn't bear thinking. What would thier parents say?!

But to a person who is entirely Torah, inside and out, then that rashi is just as much Torah as any other and needs to be taught. It takes knowing the pasukim throughly, having more questions on any given pasuk than your students do. Having the anwers to those questions and then having questions on those answers. and will do that.

It takes someone who is determined to learn and to understand no matter who it might be teaching them or finding their mistakes. Whose thirst for truth is unslakeble.

The terrible irony of the system of Jewish education we live in, is that these people naturally want to be around more people like that and we end up with the problem in all tzoni schools where they have no rabbis because all their good ones made aliya.

What remains are those who are not yet driven enough to make that self-sacrefice and thus all their preaching concerning miserat nefesh falls very very flat.

This is not universally true, there remain in America, those teachers who are brilliant and growing and powerful teachers, who strive to become closer to G-d with every day. Whose actions are ever increasingly a mirror of those ideals they aspire to and hold up for their students to see.

Chanuakah is a time where everyone stopped talking, stopped bemoaning their fate and crying out to G-d to save them from their own sins, and did what they had been taught and learnt and had taught others.

May we all do the same.


  • Thank you. I appreciate your comments and your posts, and I agree with you- about people who are examples, role models, living Torahs. People who desire to learn. They make indelible impacts upon our lives- when we think of honor, we think of them. People who do not speak, but who teach by example, who love what they teach, and are not teaching it simply to earn money. People who care....

    By Blogger Chana, at 2:01 PM, January 01, 2006  

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