Eliminating the gap between the ideal world and the real world

It is far better for us to act on vital moral imperatives based upon a foundation of our traditions, values, and ethical teachings than to trust in “princes”. This is the instruction (freely translated), we find in Psalm 118. Our sages regarded it as sufficiently helpful and even important for the conduct of one’s life at the crossroad of major decisions, that they included the instruction in the Hallel service recited in celebrating holidays and the arrival of the new month.

Just whom the psalmist intended by the term “princes” varies, of course, for each generation in their respective, unique contexts. But if we rely on “princes” – in our own day perhaps politicians, or self-appointed individuals in authority – to do what must be done for the sake of the wider good, the psalmist warns that we do so at our peril.

The question then must be asked: how should we act when the times, the urgency, the situation calls for action? Rabbi Marc D. Angel, the founder of the New York-based Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, helps us answer this question.

In his commentary on last week’s Torah portion, Ki Tissa, Rabbi Angel points to Moses’ behaviour as an example for us. Even though Moses had shattered the sacred tablets of the law when he saw the profoundly upsetting behaviour of his people in the episode of the golden calf, he did not give up on his people or on his mission. In overcoming his disgust, anger and disappointment, Moses acted in a manner that Rabbi Angel suggests holds clues for us when we too face, and must rise above, deep disappointment.

“The real world simply does not conform to our aspirations and expectations,” Rabbi Angel wrote. “We dream of—and work for—a world of peace, harmony, mutual understanding. We hold our dreams in our hands, like the tablets of the law that Moses held at Mount Sinai.…

“We might have expected Moses to have given up… after the sin of the golden calf. After shattering the tablets, he might have realized that the pieces could not be put back together again; the visionary gleam was gone, and the dream…..But Moses did not give up….He would not allow negative realities to divert him from his ideal dreams…

“Yes, there is a huge gap between the ideal world and the real world. It is easy to lose hope, to give up, to let the broken pieces of the tablets stay broken. It is difficult to overcome…. disillusionment. But, like Moses, we need to rally our strength.”

GAJE too, dreams of – and work for – a world of peace, harmony, mutual understanding. In our case that world is one where educational funding in Ontario does not favour the education of one religion above the others, where all disabled children with special learning needs are treated equally according to their disability and not according to the name or the address of the school they attend, where the government recognizes the important contribution of independent schools to the building of a better, more inclusive, tolerant and prosperous society.

GAJE long ago abandoned the hope that the “princes” of our government would act out of conscience or out of a sense of improving the overall system to do away with the discrimination in our educational system. Instead, the “princes” are attempting to prevent a hearing on the merits of our aspiration to make the dream of educational fairness a reality in the Ontario of the year 2023. One week after Passover, on April 20, GAJE will be defending the governments’ attempt to strike our application.

Our dream is to eliminate the gap between the ideal world and the real world. And like our revered teacher, Moses, GAJE will neither lose hope in nor give up the struggle to achieve it.


If you wish to contribute to GAJE’s lawsuit for fairness in educational funding, please click here.

For further information, please contact Israel Mida at: imida1818@gmail.com

Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada. Your donations will be used for the sole purpose of underwriting the costs of the lawsuit.


Shabbat shalom

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE)

March 17, 2023

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