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Prayerbooks and Scholastic Enthusiasm

Prayerbooks and Scholastic Enthusiasm

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Sitting in front of a classroom year after year challenges teachers to bring new enthusiasm to their students. Rabbi Yechiel Malov, who served as the general inspector of the Reshet Oholei Yosef Yitzchak Lubavitch day schools in Israel, found himself dealing often with this difficulty.

Rabbi Malov asked the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, how to excite and invigorate the students. “Which prayerbooks are the children praying from?” the Rebbe asked. “Are they using the old prayerbooks, or new ones?”

When Rabbi Malov explained that the students were using prayerbooks from the previous year, the Rebbe instructed him to purchase new prayerbooks for all students every year. “This will imbue the students with enthusiasm,” the Rebbe explained. “According to human nature—which G‑d gave us—new things bring happiness and lead to renewed motivation.”

The Rebbe also instructed Rabbi Malov to cover the teachers’ desks with white tablecloths, and to give out treats on special days in the Jewish calendar. “In schools that serve lunches,” the Rebbe added, “there should be a special meal, and if it is possible, candles should be lit in the lunchroom.”

Dovid Zaklikowski is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn. Dovid and his wife Chana Raizel are the proud parents of four: Motti, Meir, Shaina & Moshe Binyomin.
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