The rabbi often speaks of how study is his entry point into spirituality. That could be hard to fathom for some. Especially for those whose experience of Jewish study is comprised primarily of painful of absurd memories of Hebrew School. Perhaps the greatest disservice we do is send our kids to Hebrew School. Yet without it they would have little chance of receiving the full beauty of Judaism later in life. I fought Hebrew School about a hundred times maybe a thousand times as much as did any of our kids. Maybe a million. Maybe it was more than the Rabbi’s Kid just acting out. Maybe I knew deep down the destruction our Sunday School instructors were inflicting on a generation of future Jewish adults. Somehow I survived. Many did not. Somehow I reconnected to Jewish study as an adult. Many did not. I learned the power and beauty, the relevance of ancient and new Jewish conversations. I learned that the Little Golden Bible stories and children’s notions of God create roadblocks to experiencing the depth, complexity, contradictions of Jewish myth, and of our relationship to the ineffable Source of Life. I learned that study of Torah indeed leads to performance of mitzvot; and that performance of mitzvot is not only a sacred obligation, but a pathway to dwelling in the presence of the Divine. Who gets that in Hebrew School? No wonder Jewish adults stay away in droves. If they only knew.
May your heart and mind be open to increasing possibilities in Jewish study, and an expanding awareness of mitzvot.
May your hunger for Yiddishkeit never be sated, and may your soul be continuously fed, ever growing and touching the souls of many others.