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Parshas Emor

Thursday, 25 April, 2013 - 11:34 am


Speak to the kohanim, the sons of Aaron, and say to them... (Leviticus 21:1) "Speak" and "say" -- enjoin the elders regarding the youngsters.  (Talmud; Rashi)

The above dictum, which constitutes a primary biblical source for the concept of education, also offers insight into the nature of education. The word used by the Talmud and Rashi -- lehazhir, "to enjoin" -- also means "to shine." Hence the phrase "to enjoin the elders regarding the youngsters" also translates "to illuminate the elders regarding the youngsters." Education is not only an elder teaching a youngster; it is also an illumination for the educator. (The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

Life is a journey of education for every human being. Our "yesterday" is the child and "tomorrow" a more mature adult. In youngsters though, the need is so much more apparent and the results are so rewarding and obvious. When guiding and educating our children properly, we have the privilege of being illuminated ourselves in the process. How many times did you become aware of your own inner struggles when training a child how to overcome theirs? How many times did you appreciate something special about the world around you because of the curiosity of your own child?

This Shabbos, thank Hashem for allowing you to be the one specifically chosen to raise and "enjoin" your child/ren. Reflect on the growth and illumination you have gained in the process, and allow that to motivate further positive action in the realm of education. Never underestimate the power of a prayer said aloud in front of your children, "Thank you, Hashem for giving me such an important job to help my child/ren be their best!"

May we enjoy the ultimate illumination of our souls with the coming of Moshiach Now!

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