Dear SHA Community,
In this week’s parasha, Ha’Azinu, Moshe gives his final address to The Jewish People in the form of a song in praise of Hashem and His relationship with the Jewish People. Moshe introduces the song and says, “That I will call the name of G-d, let us make the L-rd great.” Our sages explain that because Moshe was about to begin saying words of Torah, he led the group with a blessing and The Jewish People participated with him in praising G-d by answering amen.
This blessing is called birkat HaTorah and we, too, make this blessing before learning Torah. This blessing praises Hashem that He gave us the Torah and focuses our attention on the fact that we are engaged in Torah thought and that Torah thought is unique and not other types of thought.
Our school has two outstanding curricula - engaging Judaic Studies and intensive General Studies. Both of these curricula are rigorous. Students dedicate energy and time on learning Chumash, Dinim, Mishna, Talmud and Hebrew Language all in a Hebrew context. Students dedicate energy and time on learning Mathematics, Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, Art and Athletics.
The blessing on the Torah teaches an important lesson for us and for our students. Embedded in the experience of Torah learning must be an understanding that we have a relationship with G-d and that He gave us the Torah. Torah learning is not only an intellectual experience - it is an encounter with Hashem. With the understanding that the blessing gives us, Torah impacts our values, behaviors and ideas.
How fortunate are we to be able to teach and study Torah with our students and to forge a relationship with the Almighty through the Torah!
Mazal Tov to Sandy Varon on the occasion of Jacky and Max's celebration of their Bnei Mitzvah this Shabbat.