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Brief Teaching for Teacher Appreciation: Parshat Behar/Bechukotai, 5/15/20

05/20/2020 03:22:58 PM


Rabbi Charlie

Tuvia Bolton shares the story of his teacher, Rabbi Mendel Futerfas of blessed memory.

When Rabbi Mendel was five years old learning Torah in a cheder in Russia, it happened that one of the boys forgot to bring his ink bottle and asked the boy at his side for some of his. "No," replied the latter. "I haven't enough; you should have brought from home." So the first boy had to ask someone else.

The teacher noticed this and said nothing, but a half hour later he asked the second boy if he could show the class an Aleph, a Bet and a Gimmel (the first three letters of the Hebrew alphabet). "Of course," answered the child as he pointed in one of his books. "This is an Aleph, this a Bet, and this a Gimmel."

"No," said the teacher. "You are wrong."

The boy was confused. "But teacher" he said, "this is what you taught us... this is what we have been reading for the last two years!"

"No," the teacher repeated. "You are wrong."

"Aleph is: When your friend asks you for ink, you give it to him.

"Bet is: When your friend asks for ink, you give it to him.

"Gimmel is: When your friend asks for ink, you give it to him."

Whether teaching about values, holidays, history, or other aspects of our tradition, our teachers leave a lasting impression.

This week’s Torah portion speaks of the sabbatical year, reminding us of the sacredness of time and encourages us to reflect on how we use our time.

Tonight, we honor those who have spent their time – regardless of ability – caring for our young people and teaching them Jewish wisdom and Jewish life.

We need teachers. Our children need teachers. We greatly appreciate your commitment and dedication. We greatly appreciate how you chose to spend your time this past year and we can’t thank you enough!

Mon, January 25 2021 12 Sh'vat 5781