18 Adar 5783 – 11 Maart 2023
The school year is halfway through, but my thoughts today briefly went back to the end of the previous school year. The students knew they would have different teachers next school year. One pupil came up to me and asked, “do you know who the strictest teacher is?”. “No, who?”, I asked. “Miss Bianca,” said the pupil. Miss Bianca is really a very sweet teacher to the children, but consistent and clear. “Do you know who the sweetest teacher is?”. “No, who?”, I asked. “Teacher Sandra,” said the pupil. Miss Sandra is a dear teacher, always attentive to all the pupils’ stories and she has many fun activities. Especially the cooking activities the pupil can really appreciate. OK, so we have a strict teacher and we have a sweet teacher….since there are three of us in the class, I asked, “what am I?” The student had a very direct answer, “you are the silly teacher”. Okay, I had to go with that. Whether to take that as a “compliment”…what was I supposed to do with that “the silly teacher”. I was reminded of that when I read the following:
” We should do all we can to be cheerful, even do a little silly if it helps. The price one pays for a little foolishness is much lower than the price of depression. It really doesn’t take much to do a little foolishness. Who knows? It might even be an improvement over the “serious” things we do…”
I don’t have to – if there are no adults around – put much effort into going a little silly with the pupils. It catches their attention, lets them relax for a while, makes the school day more fun and makes them concentrate better on serious school work afterwards. It goes without saying that the laughter you want to induce in the student should never come at anyone’s expense – but how wonderful it is when the teacher does “something wrong”, “says something crazy”.
When the Ark of Hashem came [to] the city of David, Michael, the daughter of Saul, looked through the window. She saw King David dancing and jumping in front of [the Ark of] Hashem, and she was ashamed of him in her heart.
Worship Hashem in gladness; come into His Presence with shouts of joy.
The Hebrew word “avoda” can be translated “worship” but also “work”. When we do something for Hashem we should do it with joy. Indeed, I think that “being joyful” is in itself a form of service to Hashem. Not a task that is always easy, but that is why it is called “working”, sometimes we have to sincerely work at it in order to experience that joy.
By Angelique Sijbolts
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