like a father

Friday, 4 August, 2017 - 8:55 am


Dear Friends,

Yesterday I met hundreds of people who fulfill the commandment brought in this week’s Parasha: “You shall teach them well to your children and you shall speak of them.”

This is the Passuk that speaks of the mitzvah to teach children Torah. At first glance, it seems to be aimed directly at the parents – “your children”. But Rashi explains this differently and says: “To your children – those are the students. We have found that students are called children and also the teacher is called a father.”

Rashi explains that it is the teacher the Torah is talking to, since most people do not teach their sons on their own, but, rather, send them to school. In earlier periods, the parents would hire a private teacher who would come to the home to teach the children.

So, by the way, we have learned that from the Torah’s point of view, the approach of the teacher to his students should be like a father speaking his own son or teaching him.

Yesterday, as mentioned above, I met hundreds of teachers who implement this ideal. Every year, the Chassidic Education Center, headed by Rabbi Naftali Roth, has a two-day conference for all the teachers in the Chabad educational network in Israel.

This year, I was there. I was invited to give a lecture and to suggest to them a system called “Ta’atzumot”, which, with Hashem’s help, might serve as a means to realize more of their special potential. I spoke with many of them personally and was moved by their sincere concern for the students. I sensed that their overall attitude is one of true and caring love. In their eyes, I saw Rashi’s words: “to your children – those are the students.”


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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