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The Best Education

The Best Education

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There are many pressures on a parent to make the education of his children conform to the prevailing modes of the secular world. If he resists these pressures and gives his child an education with significant Jewish content, he is likely to feel satisfied that he has fulfilled his obligation to see to it that his child learns Torah.

He may have a nagging doubt in the back of his mind that perhaps a better Torah education could have been provided, but on Rosh Hashanah he will feel quite justified in not being concerned with such matters, for every minute of Rosh Hashanah is precious.

As it happens, the haftorah of Hannah, read on Rosh Hashanah, answers this claim. The haftorah relates the story of Hannah’s efforts to have a child, and her pain in being barren while her co-wife Peninah was fruitful, until finally she has a son. Hannah, we will recall, sanctified her son entirely for G‑d. Peninah, however, also gave her children a Torah education, as we see from her taking them with her to Shiloh. Hannah’s approach, then, was not only that of giving a child a Torah education, but giving him the best one available.

We may identify the above as the fundamental concept of the haftorah: a person may not rest until he has given one more Jewish child the best Torah education. The fact that we read the haftorah even before we blow the shofar demonstrates the priority of education-no time is too precious to devote to it.

Does the education of only one child deserve such emphasis?

This is also answered in the haftorah: the child grew up to be the prophet Samuel. He is the one who anointed King David, thereby initiating the royal line from which will come Mashiach and therefore the ultimate redemption.

(Sichat 6 Tishrei 5737)

Excerpted from Days Of Awe, Days Of Joy. Published and Copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY 11213
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