This summer we focused on values that we could DO! At the J camps, all the children and the families got involved. There was a little learning, a little thinking and then a lot of doing! The value for this week is: talmud Torah, learning all the time.
The Jewish people are called “the people of the book.” That book is the Torah, but that means more than just the five books of Moses; it is all the Jewish literature and learning. Torah study is a guide for living a moral life. We read over and over, year after year, to find new insights. Each time we read Torah, we learn something new about how to live our lives. The Torah guides us in life, in our families, in our business.
The Sh’ma comes from the Book of Deuteronomy and tells us that we show our love for G-d through study. The Sh’ma tells us to talk about it “when you lie down and when you rise up….” When a child first begins to study Torah, the rabbis write on the child’s book with honey to show the sweetness of learning.
• The world stands on three things: on Torah, worship and deeds of lovingkindness. — Pirke Avot 1:2
• Judah ben Tema was fond of saying, “At 5, one begins the study of the Bible. At 10, the Mishnah. At 13, one takes on the responsibility of the mitzvot. At 15, one begins the study of the Talmud.” — Pirke Avot 5:21
• Do not say, “When I have some free time, then I’ll study.” You may never have that leisure. — Pirke Avot 2:5
• Make your home a regular meeting place for scholars. — Pirke Avot 1:4
Do something ‘Jewish unplugged’
Let the learning begin and read a Jewish book. There are hundreds to choose from for all ages. Need a suggestion? Contact Laura Seymour at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.