web analytics
January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Peace-Loving Principal

Lessons-logo

Meir was an amazing school principal. The school he ran outside Jerusalem was popular and successful. Occasionally it took him weeks, even months, to convince parents to send their unwilling children to his school. But his popularity and success spread by word of mouth and parents were relieved to share their tremendous burden with someone who so obviously cared for all of his pupils.

He had an instant rapport with young boys and teenagers – even those whose connection with Yiddishkeit at this moment in their lives was very tenuous.

Meir could always sense their pain and troubles and would go to any length to get them to open up to him, whether it meant playing football with them for hours or going for a horse or even camel ride. His work was a 24-hour job; he was available to parents and children at all hours of the day.

His students were challenging, each with his own story and background that had brought him to the school. Some examples: parents with a serious drinking problem; a mother who injected herself with drugs in front of her children; children torn between divorced parents, wretched pawns in a lose-lose fight; children from homes where one parent was Torah-observant and the other not, with the ensuing fights and discord this often brought; and children in homes where neither parent worked and money was so scarce that the children were always hungry. Due to the family problems many of the children were verbally and mentally abused, and although there may be no physical bruises on their bodies, their souls were scarred.

The school provided not just an education but far more. There was love, understanding, warmth, food, fun, prizes, encouragement, and above all a home and a listening ear that was non-judgmental. Meir was not just the principal, but also the children’s counselor and advocate.

But one thing Meir couldn’t abide was machloket. He would fight wholeheartedly on behalf of his pupils in a situation involving a dispute – but not so if it was political, educational, or religious in nature. He would go out of his way to avoid being involved, in any way, in those types of disputes. Meir knew they brought only trouble and Chillul Hashem.

He even refused to send his own sons to a highly respected yeshiva because it was mired in machloket. He didn’t believe anyone could learn properly in such an atmosphere.

One day Meir was told that the local municipality of the small town where the school was located could no longer afford to fund two religious schools in the area. He would have to “fight it out” with the other school’s principal to determine which school would receive funding. Meir didn’t take long to reach a decision. It didn’t really matter that his school was the smaller and newer one; Meir was set on never getting involved in any political fight – even for his school’s existence.

It was a sad day for Meir, his pupils and their families when he announced that he was closing the school. Despite pleas from parents and students to change his mind, he was adamant. He would not get involved in any fight for the right to receive funding. He recommended to all the parents that they send their children to the other religious school, which would now stay open.

He kept in touch with many of his pupils, especially those who didn’t transfer to the other school. He displayed loyalty to them, showing a great concern for their welfare.

The following year was difficult for Meir and his family. He didn’t find a principal’s job in another school, and although many asked him to teach them how he had been so successful, these calls and meetings – during which he always freely shared his experiences – didn’t provide an income.

He was asked to start several communal projects for boys at risk. But as so often happens, just as the projects started to show fruit the money ran out and the mission had to be abandoned.

Then one day he received a call from the director of the second school in the town where he had previously ran his school. That school had continued but had never been as successful in enrolling children as Meir’s school, and they were now looking for a new principal. The job was his for the taking and would begin immediately. He didn’t need to be interviewed, nor were letters of recommendation required. The school had witnessed him at work and seen his success – and very importantly, it had observed his peace-loving, God-fearing character.

But it was probably the lasting impression he had made – closing his school without a word of contention – that most impressed the existing school. Meir was a role model for all educators.

About the Author:


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 “The Peace-Loving Principal”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
PM Binyamin Netanyahu pays his respects to former PM Ariel Sharon at Sycamore Ranch, near Sderot.
Netanyahu: ‘Arik Sharon Knew The Real Threat is Iran’
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Ann Goldberg
Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

It’s written, it says, with all the segulos for shalom bayis and you gave it as a gift to a chassan and kallah.

One thing Meir couldn’t abide was machloket. He would fight wholeheartedly on behalf of his pupils in a situation involving a dispute – but not so if it was political, educational, or religious in nature.

If your home fits the chaotic description but you’d love to change it to the calm one maybe you should think about joining the ever growing Chatzos Movement – a group of ladies whose goal is to have all the main preparations for Shabbos over by chatzos, the middle of the day on Friday.

Meital and Aharon, married for several years, were thrilled to discover that Meital was pregnant. But within a few hours of their son’s birth, it was painfully apparent that things were far from all right medically.

I knew it wasn’t the right attitude to have but Tisha B’Av 30 years ago was one of the happiest days of my life.

The GPS had not been invented when Shelly set off on a Friday afternoon many years ago to join the Bnei Akiva camp in the English countryside. The organizers always managed to find a farmer who welcomed young campers under adult supervision; thus they set up their tents and during the week took the opportunity to learn the halachot of building an eruv. There would be no problems on Shabbat and they would be able to carry within the campsite.

A pale young man shuffled into the small Jerusalem yeshiva during kriyat haTorah one Shabbat morning.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/the-peace-loving-principal/2013/12/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: