As a school year nears its conclusion, there is a tendency on the part of many children to lessen their respect for school and class procedures, and to begin to act in ways they know would not be acceptable throughout the rest of the year. This phenomenon is worthy of analysis. When a person draws close to the end of his days on this earth, there is a strong push to amass as many Mitzvos and Ma’asim Tovim as possible. Halachos are strictly adhered to, and one feels an unusual closeness to Hashem. In short – the end of human life is a time to take one’s responsibilities very seriously.
The end of a school year brings out the opposite reaction. Rather than taking one’s responsibilities more seriously, a weakening of one’s responsibilities takes place. Our children let go and act as if nothing `counts.’ We should take the opportunity during the final weeks and days to help our children understand how they should behave regardless of the time of year.
We need to guide our children during these final weeks of school to maintain their healthy sense of self respect. Hashem, (k’vayochol) is not going on vacation, their parents will be around the day after school ends, and the Torah’s imperative to be a mentsch will be as important on the last day of school as it was on the first. There is never an appropriate time or occasion to be nasty, destroy property or to act in an obnoxious manner. The true mark of a Ben Torah and Bas Yisroel is one who acts with the highest standards of decency and sensitivity at all times. Imagine the Kiddush Hashem our children could make if they’d walk out of school on the last day of the year, with the same level of Middos Tovos and reverence for their school, their chaveirim and their teachers, as on the very first day of the year.
Our children demonstrate time and time again, that when reminded and properly guided, they can act in ways that will make us and them so very proud. Let’s focus on making it happen this June.
Have a wonderful Shabbos
Rabbi Kalman BaumannPrincipal