As the school year commences, it is a delight to hear the beautiful sounds of learning streaming out of every classroom in the school. A great thank you is in order to our staff, who have spent day and night (quite literally, for many of them) preparing our school to be a place where we can help you mold our dear students into members of the Jewish People who have a pride in their connection to Hashem and His Torah and Mitzvos.
Near the end of Parshas Nitzavim, we are told: “See, I have laid out for you today, life and good, death and bad—and you shall choose life!” Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l notes that the verse emphasizes that this choice is laid out to you today. Rav Moshe explains that this means that each day we must view ourselves with a clean slate. Whereas yesterday we were not successful, today is different. Past performance need not be indicative of today’s. Every morning, we begin the day anew with the recitation of “Modeh Ani”; every day we must also look at ourselves anew and prepare to rise to challenges in which we may not have been successful up until now.
The same applies to our children. We must look at our children how they are—in their formative, developing stages. Care must be taken not to allow failure in the past to define their abilities in the future. Every day, we must look at the choices laid out for our children and guide them to make good choices throughout the path of life.
Each child has abilities that we must carefully cultivate to help him or her develop. We must see our children's strengths and weaknesses and understand how to shepherd them along their unique paths of service to Hashem. We must remind our children as well as ourselves not to allow their past failures to determine their future, to teach them that the choices they make today, regardless of their past, can be a choice to choose life.
Have a good Shabbos,
Menahel/Head of School