|Posted by Ben R on December 19, 2013 at 7:20 PM|
One Friday in early December, some of The Davidson School students and faculty braved the inclement weather and looming presence of final exams, gathering together to celebrate Shabbat at the home of Rabbi Jonathan Lipnick. The students thought that as they ended their fall semester at The Davidson School, this dinner would provide a great opportunity to return to the world of Torah. After dinner, MA students Gabe Miner and Hannah Grossman shared thoughts about Parashat Vayigash. They discussed some interpretations of the phrase, “Do not be afraid on the way” (Bereishit 45:24). They considered several commentaries that offered different meanings for the verb תִּרְגְּזו (tir’g’zu). Then they looked at the story from the brothers’ point of view. What is the right way to deliver the news to Jacob? Is it preferable to tell him the whole truth, and cause their father agitation, confusion, or possibly even anger? In terms of the life of the educator, Gabe and Anna asked about how to address a holiday like Hanukkah, and how this story might be applied. What are the things that Educators really want to teach students?
Jewish educators, like clergy, have the power to share words of Torah with our students. We wrestle with the text just as rabbis and cantors do, in search of teachable moments where texts can give insights into our lives. Educators take responsibility for exploring the world of Jewish learning, using all kinds of skills, whether they work with liturgy, ritual, text, history, or community organizations.