The Education System

 

 


Abraham Joshua Heschel, I Asked for Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology

Original
Everything depends on the person who stands in front of the classroom. The teacher is not an automatic fountain from which intellectual beverages may be obtained. The teacher is either a witness or a stranger. To guide a pupil into the promised land, the teacher must have been there themselves. When asking themselves: Do I stand for what I teach? Do I believe what I say?, the teacher must be able to answer in the affirmative. What we need more than anything else is not textbooks, but textpeople. It is the personality of the teacher which is the text that the pupils read: the text that they will never forget. [Edited for gender neutrality]

 


Rambam, Mishneh Torah, The Laws of Torah Study 5:12

Translation

Original

Just as the pupils are required to honor the teacher, so the teacher out to be courteous and friendly towards their pupils. The sages said: “Let the honor of your student be as dear to you as your own” (Pirkei Avot, 4:15). One should be interested in their pupils and love them, for they are the spiritual children who give pleasure in this world and in the world to come. [Translation by CAJE. Edited for gender neutrality]

כשם שהתלמידים חייבין בכבוד הרב כך הרב צריך לכבד את תלמידיו ולקרבן, כך אמרו חכמים יהי כבוד תלמידך חביב עליך כשלך, וצריך אדם להזהר בתלמידיו ולאוהבם שהם הבנים המהנים לעולם הזה ולעולם הבא

 

 

 

 

Babylonian Talmud, Brachot 35b

Translation

Original

Rabbah b. bar Hana said in the name of Rabbi Johanan, reporting Rabbi Judah b. Ila’i: See what a difference there is between the earlier and the later generations. The earlier generations made the study of the Torah their main concern and their ordinary work subsidiary to it, and both prospered in their hands. The later generations made their ordinary work their main concern and their study of the Torah subsidiary, and neither prospered in their hands. [Translation by CAJE]

אמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי יהודה ברבי אלעאי: בא וראה שלא כדורות הראשונים דורות האחרונים, דורות הראשונים עשו תורתן קבע ומלאכתן עראי - זו וזו נתקיימה בידן, דורות האחרונים שעשו מלאכתן קבע ותורתן עראי - זו וזו לא נתקיימה בידן.