Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Chachma is not wisdom.

It’s the beginning of a thought. A spark of a lesson plan before I write it down. An intuitive idea before I drift off to sleep. A flash of how we can help someone. A glimpse of a great program that I can run. Sometimes it’s a song. Or a project. Or class I’m teaching. For a minute I can see the whole plan, what it’ll be like, look like, sound like.

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Sometimes these points of chachma come in bursts, overwhelming me, too much at once. So much potential, so much to do. What do I do first?

I get out a paper and try to write down words to remind me. I don’t want to lose a single one. This is me at my most creative. The part of me of which I’m so proud. I’m an intuitive planner, lining up projects as soon as I can think of them. They come to me as I’m driving, as I’m drinking a cup of water, as I’m washing dishes. What if I put a kallah in the center of a parachute? No one else could visualize it. Now they all do.

On Shabbos I’ll recite them to myself, so I don’t forget. All of my sparks of chachma.

Wisdom doesn’t translate to all of my flashes of chachma. They are the ones that you can put in a reusable green shopping bag to pull out in the middle of a kindergarten lesson.

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Shira Boshnack has been the co-director of OU-JLIC at Brooklyn College for the last fourteen years. She holds a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern University. A veteran kallah teacher, she has taught over 400 women.