web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Teacher, Love Your Student: It Takes More Than Chapters, Pages and Lessons

Alphonse Lévy (1843-1918). Rabbi and Student Studying the Weekly Torah Portion.

Alphonse Lévy (1843-1918). Rabbi and Student Studying the Weekly Torah Portion.

The rabbis taught: “Anyone who teaches Torah in public and does not make the words as pleasant to those listening as honey and milk mixed together – it were better that he not teach the words at all” (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 4:11).

The Kotzker once asked, “Where is the Mishkan of God?” He promptly responded: “Wherever He will be let in.” God feels welcome wherever His attributes of kindness, benevolence, forgiveness, and tolerance are part of the daily routine and atmosphere.

If not? “An animal is better than a sage without sensitivity to people’s feelings” (Seder Eliahu Rabbah 6:7).

Producing the Mikdash as Hashem instructed required enormous efforts. The Avot D’Rebi Natan teaches that God instilled His Shechinah upon Israel only when He was assured of their willingness to work hard and invest maximum melachah. How much more effort, devotion, imagination and creativity is required to produce a student just as God expects? Those building the Mikdash benefited from Moshe’s loving guiding hand and spirit, which eased their burden, pressure and anxiety.

Teaching a talmid, we are often left to our own devices, inadequacies, insecurities and prejudices, and with Moshe-less supervision. Yet we know that God does not accept the task “for Me,” unless effort, devotion, and maximum melachah are ever present. To succeed at our task in a way that honors God means we must honor our students. We must respect them where they are, not where we think they should be.

This can be understood from both ancient examples and more modern ones. The recent confrontations with extremists in Israel concerning the separation of men and women calls to mind the wisdom and grace of Rebbetzin Batsheva Kanievsky, of blessed memory, whose son-in-law R’ Yitzchok Kolodetzky recalled the time Rebbetzin Kanievsky returned home from the Lederman shul with a number of women, one of whom was not dressed modestly:

“A man who was at the house began to scream at her and degrade her in front of everyone. The Rabbanit would not tolerate such abusive behavior and retorted, ‘We do not behave like this. Don’t you dare set foot in my house because this is not our way. We influence people with ways that are pleasant, and not by embarrassing them.’ ”

On another occasion, R’ Kolodetsky’s father-in-law Hagaon R’ Chaim Kanievsky tried to make his way outside but a group of women waiting to see the Rebbetzin made it impossible for him to pass. One of the men who had been in the house yelled at the women, ordering them to get out of the way. The Rabbanit immediately told him, “Here we don’t scream, but rather speak to everyone pleasantly.”

Imagine how much more our students might learn if we took Rebbetzin Kanievsky’s loving advice in every instance of our teaching. Just think how much more firmly they would walk in the ways of knowledge and wisdom if we raised up their hearts and souls as well as their minds.

The Aron, considered the permanent abode of Torah knowledge and wisdom, is cited by the Chachamim as existing miraculously, without reliance on a measured and specified site (mekom aron eino min a’mida, veomed b’nes). While it is true that we find students emerging unblemished from schools whose focus is almost solely on quantity of pages and chapters covered with almost no attention placed on love, sensitivity and sympathy – with no concern for feelings and emotions – why should we rely on miracles when it involves our children?

Surely, when the key is lost it is almost impossible to replace and each unopened door leaves a precious student outside.

Don’t just teach students – love them.

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran serves as OU Kosher’s vice president of communications & marketing.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Teacher, Love Your Student: It Takes More Than Chapters, Pages and Lessons”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Jacob Talking with Laban

It is difficult to remain faithful in galut, the ultimate Rorschach test for all Jewish generations

Racheli Frankel: “I didn’t think they were thrown just anywhere. The tears of Hebron embraced them”

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

What defines kana’ut these days? Throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos? Burning an Israeli flag on Yom Ha’Atzmaut?

One who may leave his wife an agunah is not included in the general rule that we may not imprison on Shabbos.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/teacher-love-your-student-it-takes-more-than-chapters-pages-and-lessons/2012/02/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: