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.


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.