As we look ahead to our Celebration of Shabbat through Stories weekend – January 27-29 – we reflect on the over-arching themes of this signature event for CBI – Connect, Belong, Inspire.
Over the coming days, we will provide insights and thoughts from our clergy and educators on the importance and value of Jewish learning in our synagogue, in our schools and in our community. We kick off this series of observations with these words from Rabbi Steven Bayar:
There is a rabbinic tale, centuries old, that speaks to the importance of education to our tradition:
When God offered the Israelites the Torah at Mount Sinai, there was Heavenly concern for the Torah; after all, humanity is imperfect – How would they treat God’s most precious possession? If God was to “give” the Torah to them, what guarantor could they give that it would be kept sacred and cared for?
God asked them what assurance they could give that would guarantee their loyalty to the tradition. What did they have to offer as proof of their intentions?
The Israelites offered all of creation as witness to their intent. It was not accepted.
They offered the prophets and leaders of the community who would guarantee that the Torah was kept safe. It was not enough.
Finally, the Israelites offered their children as guarantors for the safety of the Torah. Only then did God agree to gift them the Torah.
The chain of tradition is built upon our understanding of this agreement. We guarantee the sacredness and safety of the Torah only when we “gift” it to our children. This is why educating the next generation is the most important foundation we have.
To learn more about our Celebration of Shabbat through Stories weekend with Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, please click HERE.
Connect // Belong // Inspire