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Thank you teachers!

Updated: Jun 7

It is now the time of year that schools are ending and students are packing their bags, literally and figuratively, with everything they’ve attained over the school year. The daily grind of packing lunches, getting ready for another day of broadening the horizons of their knowledge, now reaches its culmination with the beginning of summer vacation, and for many students — graduation.

The key to every student’s academic success lies in no small part in the dedication of the teachers. These devoted men and women have given another year of their lives for the enhancement of their students’, and as parents we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for the wisdom they’ve imparted to our children throughout the school year. Whether your child is in preschool or college, elementary or high school, without teachers the time spent in school would be meaningless. But when the teachers are devoted to their craft, and to enhancing their teaching techniques and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of education, the students will emerge from the year better and more equipped to face the challenges of the world ahead of them.

A good teacher is so central to a child’s upbringing, that the Torah considers it as though they actually gave birth to that child. We find this when the Torah refers to the children of Aaron, Moses’s brother, as “the offspring of Aaron and Moses.” Moses was considered to have fathered them, because everything that he learned from G-d, in addition to transmitting it to the entire Jewish nation collectively, he taught his nephews privately with special attention.

Although Moses teaching his brother’s children occurred only once — he wasn’t their teacher for life, especially as they grew up and became adults — the impact of his devotion to their education lasted a lifetime, to the extent that they were always considered his offspring.

Every teacher has both the responsibility and opportunity to turn their students into their children. They are entrusted with these precious but raw jewels, and it is up to them to transform them into the most perfect shining lights for their benefit and the benefit of the entire world. When a child has a teacher that is committed to bringing out the best in them, not only does the child have a good year, but for the rest of their lives the student will embody the lessons learned from that particular teacher.

It’s more than just the teacher taking credit for the student’s future accomplishments. The teacher can have a permanent and life-long impact on the student, just like a parent’s genetics determine a child’s future. This is especially true of a teacher on the caliber of Moses, who heard the entire Torah from G-d and in fact had a permanent impact on the entire Jewish people as they stood at Mt. Sinai and heard the Torah from him. When he taught his nephews, he turned them into his own offspring, and they forever carried that title with them.

This of course applies to our children’s teachers today, who are charged with forming their minds and turning them into who they will be in the future. But it also applies to every single Jewish person, even those of us who aren’t teachers; we too can permanently impact the life of another person by making use of every teachable moment presented to us.

If you have Torah knowledge, as minimal as it may be — even if it’s just one letter of the Torah — then just like Moses, you have an opportunity to share it with others and have a positive permanent impact on their lives. Sharing your Torah knowledge with others allows you to not only be kind, you can make a world of difference for that individual, and by extension anyone they will encounter in the future. Literally, the whole world for the rest of eternity. Just like having a child.

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