Education seems to be a constant theme running through every issue of The Jewish Star. We cover initiatives in education, what to teach, how to teach it, the importance of learning Torah, the importance of speaking with Holocaust survivors, and the importance of learning from our past.We focused on people who are eagerly preparing to finish the entire Shas in one day, people who gathered in Israel for four days of intensive study and programs throughout the Five Towns and Far Rockaway to make Torah available to the community.
This past Sunday the Young Israel of Woodmere presented an intensive day of learning, tying women’s health and Jewish law and the same shul will be continuing with a new series that unites the community by providing five different yeshiva educators a forum to teach a shiur on a favorite book. We are at a precarious juncture now, with Israel and thus the Jews, being squeezed from all sides and it seems as if we are again standing between the Egyptians and the sea, Iran and a hard place. We know we have to remain firm, hold to our convictions and know that we have to protect the Jewish people, Israel, the Torah and our cause is just.
A story I covered seems to oddly resonate on many levels: a boy has connected with a sneaker collecting hobby to his grandfather, who passed away last year, and to the young Israeli soldiers, donating money from the sale of his collection to FIDF. Sneakers, shoes. In my mind I see a cosmic healing through his hobby, his grandfather sold shoes and sneakers, the piles of Holocaust victims’ shoes at Auschwitz, and the story of the Assarah Harugai Malchut, who were confronted with a room full of shoes, the sale of Yosef by his brothers for the cost of a pair of shoes. Could this be a tikun, a tie through the generations?
Jared connected to his grandfather and to Israel and the young soldiers through sneakers. May we all find a way to learn, grow and connect and create ties to our ancestors, each other, the Jewish people everywhere, the Torah and G-d. We have to learn to value our G-d given Torah and that each Jew is the embodiment of Torah and must be helped to achieve as Rav Binny often says, “to be the best they can be.” And we must not let the deniers of Israel’s rights to shout us down. Write letters, take a stand, defend Israel, learn Torah. Keep the continuity.