Passover is just 2 weeks away. As we edge closer to redemption, experiencing our celebration of freedom from slavery (with still so much work still to do), we are deep in the heart of our 6th core Jewish value, Koach HaDibbur, the power of words.
Words matter in Judaism.
When you hear a truth or a wisdom that resonates, deep inside your soul, it can carry you to be and do your best. Gathering a greater understanding of our destiny and purpose as a people is not easy to do in a few minutes. This week, I heard a wonderful teaching from Rabbi Irwin Kula in an email from our friends at CAJE in Miami. In this J-Insider video from 2009, Rabbi Kula summarizes the current context of Jewish education so very well,
“Jewish wisdom helps us become more evolved human beings.”
For thousands of years we have strove- and continue to strive- for ideal relationships with our fellow human and to be more compassionate. Paramount in this relationship is the clear instruction not to gossip (lashon hara). Yet, when it comes to ideas, there is a sense of obligation to share wisdom when one comes across it. Indeed the opposite of gossip, would be to share words that are filled with light.
As you will see in this month’s newsletter, we have scheduled our Summer Training Conferences where our educators will share experiences to help each other improve. The power of their words contain some of the most valuable lessons. With our growth, we are now holding two separate conferences to maximize participation.
Words can move and inspire. Below are my two favorite quotes from “non-Jewish” sources taught in our Koach Hadibbur unit. I could go on forever on how much these words mean to me, but they are so powerful, lets let the words speak for themselves. May you all have a Passover full of joy and wonder and powerful words at your seders!
Chag Pesach Sameach!
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela
“We strive to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
– John F. Kennedy
The holiday of Purim begins this Saturday, March 11, at sundown. If observance of this holiday is new to you, or if you are just looking for some new ways to celebrate, here are some suggestions:
An overview of the holiday from MyJewishlearning.
A Hametashen recipe from Bon Appetit.
If you can’t get to synagogue to hear the Whole Megillah, you can listen here.
Or, perhaps you would prefer an English translation.
It is customary to have a festive meal or seudah on Purim, here are some ideas from Joy of Kosher. (The Hamentashen Challah sounds particularly mouthwatering!)
And if you didn’t get a chance to read it, here is what our own Rabbi in Residence Dani Eskow had to say about how Purim fits in to our ShalomLearning curriculum.
Chag Purim Sameach from the ShalomLearning team!