Friday, February 13, 2009

SZP (Shameless Zionist Plug) - School Motto

I just got my son's first report card in Israel (since we are Olim Chadashim) and it came in a pretty blue folder with lots of photos and quotations on it. It has the first Mishnah in Pirkei Avot which emphasizes Torah, Avodah (davening) and doing Chesed. It also has a pasuk from Bereshit and one from Yishayhu - very nice ideas but nothing that is going to start an educational revolution. The final quotation on this pretty blue folder, rocked my educational world. So much so, that I realized I simply must share it with my minyan of readers out there in the blogosphere. (Quick aside - after writing a couple of self-depricating comments about the number of readers that I have, my handy-dandy blog analysis software tells me that I have 12 subscribers. Now that I have a minyan, I am not going to comment on the paucity of my audience. Rather I will simply say, "Thank you.")
לא מצאנו בשום מקום בתורה שמצווה אדם להיות למדן ובקי בכל חדרי התורה. שכן תכלית הלימוד אינה להיות למדן אלא להיות אדם טוב, לעשות הטוב ולהיטיב עם הזולת
We don't find any place in the Torah that a person is commanded to be a talmid chacham and an expert in all areas of the Torah. Because the purpose of learning is not to be a talmid chacham rather it is to be a good person, to do good and to act well to the other.
This is a quote from the Kotzker Rebbe and in my humble opinion (not all that humble in reality) is an excellent motto for a school. It is not that it is impossible for a school in Chutz L'Aretz to have a similar, or even the exact same motto - it's just that this pretty blue folder warmed my Zionist heart. Clearly every child is not destined to become a talmid chacham, but every child has the potential to be a mentsch.

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