With the first official day of Spring less than one month away, we take heart if not also hope that we have perhaps passed Winter’s harshest blast. In barely less than one month we will celebrate Purim. One month later, we will be sitting at the Seder table.
But as we are still in Winter’s grasp, and as our children contend with the challenges of the winter along with the challenges of their respective schools, let us find some warmth concerning our children and their future, from Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the U.K who reflected upon the close connection between the very language we use and the essence of trans-generational instruction.
Rabbi Mirvis, some weeks ago stated quite categorically that successful Jewish communities are the ones that establish successful institutes for Jewish education.
Rabbi Mirvis pointed out that the term ‘lehorot’, which our forebear Yaakov spoke to Yehuda as the entire family prepared to move to Egypt, not only means “to show the way”, it also means ‘to teach’. Rabbi Mirvis further noted that ‘Hora’ah’ means ‘to study’, ‘Moreh’ means ‘teacher; ‘Horeh’ means parent. And of course, ‘Torah’ means The Teaching.
Learning, teaching, study are and have been the unshakable foundation supports of our survival as a people. Indeed, the very words we use to communicate learning, teaching and study convey this importance in the deep structure of our ancient-modern language. They are imprinted on our souls as well as on our tongues.