As a rabbi, a common question I get is: “Rabbi, I really want to study Torah, but where should I begin?”
A fabulous and fundamentally important question: When beginning, what is the most important thing for us to learn in Torah – the thing we should learn first?
This question is also highly relevant to the education of our children: What is the first thing we should be teaching our children? What is the primary and most important thing we can impart to them so that they can become the best people they can be? Where should anyone’s education begin?
Well, the Torah itself tells us. And it says: Begin with the Book of Vayikra.
Vayikra is primarily about blood, sacrifices, fire, and animal slaughter. This is a sure way to turn someone off from Judaism. Indeed, Vayikra is considered the most complex of all the books of the Torah.
But no. Vayikra teaches us not only which subjects to teach our children and ourselves, but what the object of education is in the first place.
And we can boil it down to five principles: Purity. Wonder. Humility. Preciousness. Repetition. And repetition. And repetition.