Ah, education, one of humanity’s favorite subjects, one that reminds us, naturally, of our school days and, instinctively, puts us to sleep. (I can’t help but notice a few nodding heads, nodding not in agreement, I daresay …)
It’s a sad fact: teachers are very often boring. I guess this is because, as George Bernhard Shaw, the witty Irish playwright, once quipped: “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.”
Let’s face it: no one loves school, just as no one loves shul.
Rabbis are, essentially, teachers. Teachers are perceived as knowing what you don’t and so no one likes them (all that much). Rabbis are no different.
The only difference between school and shul is that in the former you’re a child with no free will, and in the latter, you can walk out anytime you like without being sent to the principal’s office.
But, perhaps we can do something about it. Perhaps we can create a more mature and sophisticated type of education, and expect more from our teachers and rabbis. Because in truth, our teachers, rabbis, parents and mentors were meant to inspire us and believe in us more than they are meant to be condescending, boring or irrelevant … Perhaps the secret ingredient is found in the most profound – and educational – book ever to grace this physical plane … Could that be true?
Yes indeed. Our Torah reading holds within it a most profound lesson, what it means to truly educate – for the elders to educate the youth, for parents to educate children, for rabbis to educate communities, and for all of us to educate each other.
And this vital message is underscored by the Rashbi, whose yahrzeit we just celebrated on Lag B’Omer.