Photo Credit: Mosaica Press

Title: Nurture Their Nature: The Torah’s Essential Guide for Parents and Teachers
By Rabbi Yosef Lynn and Jack Cohen
Mosaica Press

 

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Whether you are a novice or veteran educator, Nurture Their Nature: The Torah’s Essential Guide for Parents and Teachers, by Rabbis Yosef Lynn and Jack Cohen, is a must read! However, it is not the parenting and teaching guide you will expect. You won’t find strategies for raising and teaching children.

The book is divided into an introduction, six sections, and a conclusion. All the sections include textual sources as well as footnotes for further study. The introduction and first five sections all focus on self-growth, including the importance of self-worth, self-awareness in identifying one’s strengths, and using those strengths productively. Finally, after a lot of hard work on oneself, section six and the conclusion move toward group dynamics, discussing how to use one’s strengths to play a role in a community.

One can only be a strong and effective team player to the extent that one has worked on oneself. In essence, this book teaches tools for raising and educating yourself. You can only give to your children and students what you possess. For example, you need to internalize your own self-worth before you can help your children and students internalize their self-worth.

The concepts discussed in this book require a lot of review to fully internalize. It is better to read one or two chapters at a time in order to allow concepts to fully sink in. This is a great book for learning with a chavrusa. Teachers, rebbeim and parents may even want to form weekly or monthly discussion groups centered around this book.

When so much of our life is about everyday mundane choices, i.e., what to pack for school lunches, homework, laundry, or managing classroom discipline, it’s easy to lose sight of our “why.” Why did I become a parent or teacher in the first place? This book helps veteran parents and educators tap into re-discovering their “why.” And if you’re a new or future parent or educator, this book will help you with creating your “why” in raising or teaching the next generation!

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Avigayil Perry lives in Norfolk, Virginia and writes for various Jewish publications.