The excitement of watching our Talmidim and Talmidos returning to school, to their friends and to learning is to experience great joy and hope. The potential of what each individual and the totality of our 475 elementary and early childhood students can accomplish this year is limitless. No matter what stresses and difficulties you endure to enable your children to receive a quality Torah and secular education, and these days all parents of Yeshiva students are heroes, it is all worth it when you realize your children are being plugged into eternity and into a world of higher values and greater humanity.
This summer, we experienced anew, the fragility of life, the wanton hatred that surrounds and targets the world-wide and local Jewish community, and the general debasing of the value of human life. Our children are growing up in a world quite unlike any of us experienced. Sadly, the more technology connects individuals and creates a virtual global community, the greater the distance grows and the bonds fray between people, countries and cultures.
But for us, the priceless legacy of Torah Judaism is the greatest gift we give to our children. While we experience the inevitable bumps in the road as our children acclimate to new teachers, classmates and expectations, we the parents need to keep our eye on the big picture. The timeless values of honesty, compassion and responsibility coupled with respect and love for being a Torah Jew is ultimately what our day to day work is all about.
An athlete in training considers a scraped knee and sore shoulder part of a day’s work, part of the process of reaching for greater performance and greater accomplishment. We need to help our children see a less than perfect test score, or even a redirection from a teacher as part of the learning process. The parents’ and teachers’ job is to focus on developing our children’s resilience and ongoing motivation to do what may sometimes be hard or less than fun. By helping a child appreciate small gains and incremental successes, we will be doing them a great favor.
Our children stand to gain the most from a healthy school-home relationship. The key to any relationship is communication. We invite you all to join with us this coming Monday evening for our Back-to-School Night, where we will share with the parents what we do in each individual class and the school as a whole. Come meet your child(ren)’s teachers, hear and see their hopes, dreams and plans for your children this coming year, and come get a sense of what the Toras Emes experience is all about.
May this and every Shabbos be filled with the sounds of eager children excitedly and happily relating what they learned and experienced in the past week.
Have a wonderful Shabbos,
Rabbi K Baumann