Truth Is The Beginning, The Middle, And The End

Friday, 19 January, 2018 - 2:44 pm

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 Truth Is The Beginning, The Middle, And The End


What traits do you want to inspire and share with your child?

Truth/אמת has always been high on my list. I always planned to share this with my own children and, today, with yours. To do so faithfully, I knew I needed to clarify in my own mind what I was looking for. That led me to the questions,What is truth? How can I -- and my children, and others -- get there?


At a recent staff meeting we discussed our core values (אמת-truth, חסד-kindness, כבוד-respect and משמעת עצמית-self-discipline) and how to best  share these with our students and inspire them to aspire to them. For the latter three core values, we immediately came up with the words to use and ideas to share to attain our goal as educators. Truth, however, posed a bigger challenge; it was something else entirely. We decided we needed more time to give it more thought, and we scheduled another meeting a  few weeks out.


So what is אמת-truth? The answer is hidden in the magic of the Hebrew letters that compose the word אמת. In the Alef-Bet, the א is the first letter, מ the middle, and ת the last. Truth literally is the beginning, the middle, and the end. It is the end-all, be-all; it is something that lasts and endures forever.


The Talmud (Parah, 8:9) teaches that a river that dries up even once in a seven-year period is called “false waters.”In other words, truth -- unlike a river that can cease to exist -- is forever. Truth is always. Truth is anywhere. Rain may cause a river to stop flowing, but truth is eternal.


Our staff regrouped a few weeks later to share our accumulated thoughts on how to teach truth to our students. We kept in mind the guiding principle above about truth and boiled down our message to our students to the following three foundational concepts. You live and express your enduring truth through honesty in speech and action; keeping your word; and being an example.


Here at MJDS, our kids work hard to internalize all of our core values, truth among them. We teach them every day, and we are seeing great progress.


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