Sign In Forgot Password

  Jewish Education and the Sinai Moment                

02/01/2013 10:09:23 AM


          This week, in Torah, we reach the pinnacle of our journey, the moment when our people stand at the foot of Mount Sinai and receive the Ten Commandments.   Traditionally, we stand as a community when we listen to the Ten Commandments, symbolizing our own participation in the giving and receiving of Torah.  We are not meant to view Sinai as ancient history, but rather as the ongoing process of revelation, in which we are active participants.  All of Israel, throughout all of time, stands eternally at Sinai, ready to receive God’s words. 

This experience of receiving Torah has important lessons to teach us about Jewish education.  One of my colleagues taught me that Judaism shouldn’t be formaldehyde, but rather oxygen for our students.  In other words, teaching Judaism to the next generation is not about preserving ancient history, but rather about giving young people the Jewish wisdom, knowledge, beliefs and rituals that will give meaning to their everyday lives.   This philosophy informs the type of education that we strive to offer in the Religious School.  Our first through seventh grade curriculum is named Chai, because it revolves around the pillars of Jewish life—Torah, God, and Acts of Loving Kindness.   By exposing students to these foundations of Judaism, we hope to help them create lives for themselves, both now and as adults, that will be Jewishly rich and alive.  

         Being open to the experience of Sinai is a challenge that each of us will face throughout life.  Hearing God’s words and striving to do them is at the heart of Jewish identity and living.  We hope that our students will grow in their Jewish knowledge and be ever open to revelation



Sat, May 28 2022 27 Iyar 5782