Honorable Mensch-ion


When I meet a new parent in our synagogue community, I often ask this question and do not expect an answer, “I know what you want for your child; a well rounded Jewish education, with knowledge of the customs and laws of Shabbat, and history of the holidays. But have you thought of what you would want from your Torah learning?”

A Jews is obligated to participate in daily Torah study. The Rabbis place texts within our daily prayers to ensure this practice takes place. The fear was that neglect of Torah study would be the neglect of Judaism, and the loss of our people. Torah is compared to water. Torah can only be retained by a humble person, low in spirit, not one with a haughty heart, just like water, which does not remain in the mountains, but only in the valleys.

Rashi compares Torah study to sinking your finger in sand. When you pull your finger out, it closes up at a greater pace than when you sunk your finger in. Our common refrain is, “When I am free I will study Torah!” Yet, we seem to never be free. We learn that we should not assume what tomorrow will bring, for before we know it, our days are spent toiling in labor.

The halls of Sinai Temple have started to fill with the sounds of teachers preparing classrooms. In just days, students will enter the sacred space, fulfilling this mitzvah at its core- Torah for the sake of learning. The children will be transformed not only by knowledge, but by the ruach, the spirit of Torah, and the Rabbis, teachers, and parents surrounding them with love. Now it is out turn to take those moments each day, say the shema or modeh ani, open the words of the parsha, study a teaching of Maimonides, and sharpen our minds with the wisdom of our tradition, so that we too will have the gift of Torah on our tongue.

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