Shalom: Feeling Complete

Shalom: Feeling Complete

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe our school year is once again coming to a close.  Most of our students have already begun our final unit, Shalom. Correct English translations for Shalom are “hello,” “goodbye,” and “peace.” However, looking deeper into the Shoresh (root) of the Hebrew word, its essence is “Shalem,” which means “completeness.”

The Jewish ideal of being at peace is to be compete. It is no accident that we’ve chosen this Jewish value as a great way to end the academic year. It’s reflective of the previous six values as it all ties into our greatest destiny as a people: to repair the world as partners with God and gain a sense of “completeness,” for both all of humanity and for the validation of our individual sense of who we are in this world. The things we do, the actions and mitzvot, are what has paramount importance in this world, not just inward reflection, and yet, it is WHO WE BECOME that ultimately matters in your journey through life.

Rabbi Tarfon used to say, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” (Pirkei Avot 2:16) Of course our work, this holy work of helping and healing and shining a Light unto the nations of the world, is never finished.

And yet, we keep on trying with all our might. We are instructed to “seek peace and pursue it.” And not just a casual “pursue,” like a hobby. No, the Hebrew word used in Tanach for pursue is rodeph which is like one doing battle or about to commit a murder. This is not a casual pursuit, andits not to do an evil act. But rather its opposite. By pursuing peace with such commitment, we are on a mission, we are focused and our desire is to help create a calmer, more peaceful world. This is a holy act and everyone with a proper Jewish values education knows this truth.

May you all have wonderful summers and pursue peace in all you do. If you are one of our ShalomLearning educators, I look forward to learning together with you over the summer at one of our professional development workshops.  And if you are a student in the next academic year, may you live up to your infinite capacities to become aligned with your greatest destiny: complete and total peace within and the creation of better world filled with Shalom.

Gratefully Yours,

Joshua Troderman

ShalomLearning CEO

 

Josh Troderman

About Josh Troderman

Joshua Troderman, CEO of ShalomLearning has been a passionate innovator of Jewish education for the last 19 years. Josh has held teaching and administrative positions at a number of Jewish day schools, synagogues, and summer camps, including The Rashi School, The Rodeph Shalom Day School, The Kesher Community Hebrew School, The Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Camp Ramah, Camp Edward Isaacs, and Storahtelling. Since 2009, Josh has also directed JChoice.org, a giving platform that empowers Jewish youth to learn about and experience the mitzvah of Tzedakah. Josh holds a master’s degree in Jewish Education (2005) from The William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and two children, and can be seen playing keyboards and singing on Thursdays with his soul and funk band called The New Mother Earth.