PIRKEI AVOT: Chapter 2, Mishnah (Teaching) 5

Community support

Hillel Taught:

Do not withdraw from the community.

Do not be sure of yourself till the day of your death.

Do not judge your fellows till you stand in their situation.

Do not say “It is not possible to understand this,” for ultimately it will be understood.

Do not say “When I have leisure, I will study,” for you may never have leisure.

Hillel speaks of the power of a community. In life there are moments that might lead us to withdraw into our selves, and that’s acceptable for a moment. But, ultimately we are meant to be in community, in partnership. We can support one another through ups and downs, reassure one another and help one another.

Which of Hillel’s rules for life do you think is most important?… Read the rest

PIRKEI AVOT: Chapter 1, Mishnah (Teaching) 12

Importance of education

Hillel taught:

Be a disciple of Aaron – loving peace and pursuing peace, loving your fellow creatures and attracting them to the study of Torah.

This text is about education. So often it is easier to assume we know what we know and we might be an expert in certain fields. Hillel teaches us that our job is to learn from everyone, to act with love towards one another and to help guide each other on a path of lifelong learning.

What type of education will you pursue? How do you continue to pursue learning even after you’re no longer “school-aged”?… Read the rest

PIRKEI AVOT: Chapter 1, Mishnah (Teaching) 4

Home is where you make it

Yose ben Yoezer of Tzredah, and Yose ben Yohanan of Jerusalem, received the tradition from him.

Yose ben Yoezer of Tz’redah, taught:

Make your home a regular meeting place for the scholars; sit eagerly at their feet and thirstily drink their words.

The text is clearly reminding us that our home has a personality. Home is where the heart is, or more accurately, home is where you make it. I read this text and feel that my responsibility is to make my home a happy place for me and my family. But also a place where those who I love also want to gather.

What is the blessing of your home?… Read the rest

Writing Prompt: Teaching Young Children

Teaching Young Children

It is education which shapes the mind. As the twig is bent, so’s the tree inclined. -Alexander Pope

Young children learn in three ways: they learn by modeling behavior, by things we tell them, and by repetition. Whether they are our children, our students, our young relatives and friends, it is our job to show them the way. What are the frequent expressions you use to do so?

Share your wisdom on teaching young children.Read the rest