As a teacher, there are so many things I try to teach my students, and there are so many challenges along the way, while doing so.
I am a driving teacher, in Jerusalem. It is quite a task to receive a drivers license in this country let alone in Jerusalem. There is a known expression regarding Jerusalem that says; “Jerusalem is bought with agony.”
This means that even simple things, like finding a job or an apartment, getting from one point of the city to another, the tension among the different sects that reside side by side, in this holy city, don’t always go so smoothly or easily, as in other cities or countries.
Here in Jerusalem, you have to be loaded with extra energy and faith, to make it through the day.
The process of receiving one’s license is very challenging, time consuming and costly. When I start teaching most of my students I wonder to myself, how in the world is this student going to ever learn how to drive?
The distance between what they know and can do is so far from actual driving, that it seems almost impossible. As do all teachers, I try to give them a lot of confidence that they can achieve the goal they set out to do.
I feel that more than the technical tools or informative data I pass over to them, is the positive energy that they can do it. I don’t allow any negative expressions in my car, such as; “I can’t do it,” or I’ll never learn how to drive.”
I explain to the students from the very beginning that what will make the difference if they pass the final test and receive their license, has to do with how much they pray to Hashem.
In my field, the work that is required from the students is very physical and exhausting. So to tell my students that they must try harder or make more of an effort, is not necessary. The mere fact that they came for a lesson means that they have already made a decision to work hard and succeed.
While sitting in the driver’s seat, one can’t goof off, or fall asleep, one can’t be busy with anything other than driving, and above all while sitting in the driver’s seat the responsibility for others’ lives are in their hands, so there is no room for anything less than 100% attention.
Therefore throughout the entire time the student spends with me, I’m constantly emphasizing to them that they must pray for success from Hashem since it’s only He who decides to pass or fail a student.
It’s quite difficult and challenging to pass your driving test here in Jerusalem on the first time.
There is a lot of stress in this beautiful city, which creates a lot of stressful drivers. The wonderful ancient city’s foundations are quite old and many of the roads and neighborhoods are very narrow and challenging, making it twice as hard to maneuver down its pretty streets alongside all the stressed out harried drivers.
I make sure to instill a lot of confidence in my student’s ability to make it. And not to give up and try in a quieter city or someplace less stressful. I explain to them that if they make it here they will make it anywhere. Because if one trains for some sort of skill in tough conditions, they will be able to use their skills in any place, since they trained under the hardest circumstances.
So when I see students that started and hardly knew how to hold the steering wheel, or that you only use one foot to press the gas and brake pedal, succeed, I’m overjoyed. But most of all I’m so proud of them that they got the confidence and believe that everything is up to Hashem, especially their success.
Hashem is the master driving teacher of us all.
G-d takes us and puts us in the “car” of life and tries to teach us how to drive. Most of us, if not all, at first have no idea what the car – our vessel is all about. Where the “brakes” are or how much “gas” to press. How much confidence and faith do we have, in order to drive through the “narrow road” of life with our car, which is our body?
We start out not knowing anything and the end result on our journey, is our responsibility and ability to maneuver throughout the stressful streets of our lives, and make the right choices, at times even in a split second since almost every decision on the “road” is life-concerning. Our lives and those of others.
If we see all that we do from the view point of Hashem guiding us, no matter what field we work in, we will be able to connect to a higher purpose, and truly see what it is G-d is telling us every step of the way.
May we all receive our “licenses” from Hashem, in order that we may be able to “drive” wherever Hashem’s road may take us, in the best way possible.