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Empowering - A Heavenly Example

 Mount Sinai.jpg

 Empowering - A Heavenly Example

When Moses was on Mount Sinai, he joined a class Rabbi Akiva (c. 50 CE to 135 CE) was teaching, and yet Moses couldn't understand the subject matter.

Suddenly, a student raised his hand and asked about the topic, “Rebbe, how do you known this novel idea?” to which Rabbi Akiva responded, “This was taught to Moses on Mount Sinai.” (Menachot, 23:B)

By this time, Moses already had received  the Torah on Mount Sinai, and now he is listening to a class he doesn't understand, but that its teacher says Moses himself taught?

Along with the written Torah and 613 commandments, Moses received the 13 rules of understanding the Torah. Using these guidelines given at Mount Sinai we can innovate and share original insights into our sacred text. When Rabbi Akiva mentioned that the current law Moses couldn't understand was received by Moses himself, the rabbi was referring to the guidelines which empower us always to continue to investigate and learn, to work through and beyond confusion until there is understanding.

Moses and all Jews are thus empowered: We have the foundation and basics we need to innovate on our own!

This is the secret to education itself, as well as to educating and empowering the youth. We, as parents and instructors, give our students the skills to keep on investigating and learning. We need not be the so-called sage on the stage, but, rather, the guide at their side, encouraging and allowing them to make their own decisions and choices, as well as to seek the knowledge they need to make the most informed decisions and choices possible.

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