These are the days of briefest light in the northern hemisphere. The candles of Chanukah are therefore a welcome illumination during the darkness of the holiday’s eight days.
An additional illumination with the power to shine permanent light on a subject that needs constant light can be found in the speech Rabbi Lord Sacks delivered in the British House of Lords on Dec. 7 in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s debate on the role of education in building a flourishing and skilled society.
In a short, pithy, precise four-minute speech entitled “The world our children will inherit tomorrow is born in the schools we build today”, Rabbi Sack’s pleaded for an educational system that instils in children knowledge and values.
“We need to give our children an internalised moral Satellite Navigation System so that they can find their way across the undiscovered country called the future. We need to give them the strongest possible sense of collective responsibility for the common good, because we don’t know who will be the winners and losers in the lottery of the global economy and we need to ensure its blessings are shared. There is too much “I” and too little “We” in our culture and we need to teach our children to care for others, especially those not like us.”
In his very next sentence, Rabbi Sacks added: “We work for all these things in our Jewish schools.”
It is a powerful statement, succinctly delivered.
The recording and text of Rabbi Sack’s speech are available at:
Chag Urim Samayach and Shabbat Shalom.