Toldot: Education Lessons from the Womb



Mark Twain once famously quipped that he never allowed his schooling to interfere with his education.

The Talmud says that a Jewish child’s education begins in the womb, where an angel teaches the entire Torah to the yet unborn baby.

This week’s Torah reading – Parshat Toldot – relates that, when Jacob was still in his mother’s womb, he would struggle to get out every time she passed the yeshiva of Shem and Eber.

Why would Jacob want to run to the study hall when he was learning the entire Torah while in the womb from an angel?

And what can this teach us about education today – education for our toldot, our offspring, our future generations?

Explanations of the first Modzhitzer Rebbe (Rabbi Yechezkal of Kuzmir) and the Chasam Sofer, help illuminate the matter.

Education begins by being enveloped in the warm cocoon of the womb. But it does not end there. Education is about wanting to leave the womb to teach the world.


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