Word of Torah: Parashat Lech L’cha
Written by: Jason Schnissel
For most of us Elementary school is a distant memory. While for some it may be further ago than for others, I would wager that each one of us can recall a particular lesson they were made to memorize during these years. For many this may have been the order of operations for math or the names of each of the planets. Personally, the most distinct lesson with memorization involved relates directly to this week’s Torah portion, Lech L’cha.
In third grade, each student at my Solomon Schechter Day School was handed a Breishit Shelie (My Breishit), which while only in Hebrew was a child friendly, illustrations included, paperback that contained the entire first book of the Torah. This was a pivotal moment in our Jewish learning as it was the beginning of our study of Torah and if I remember correctly was marked with a ceremony. What I do remember with 100% certainty is Mrs. Taub having each student in our class rehearse the first sentence from this week’s Parasha. We were later tested on it too.
In reflecting on this early childhood experience, there are two things that have struck me. The first being that we did not start at the beginning of the book of Breishit. Rather, we began our study of Torah with the very first Jew. I suppose for a student at a Jewish day school this is logical. The second is how formative of an experience this was for me. To this day, I can still recall this first sentence by rote.
As a congregation we are always seeking to enhance our children’s Hebrew School experience. In drafting this piece I was forced to consider how we too can create such memorable moments for each of our students. As a member of our community you too can share be part of this process. Be part of our Education Committee, teach or volunteer in our Hebrew School or be part of our one-on-one Hebrew tutoring program*. Sparking such a moment is surly one way to create a memory that will last a lifetime.
*If you’re interested in learning more about being part of any of these opportunities connect with me directly.