In our Torah portion this week, VaEtchanen, we read what is probably one of the most well known paragraphs in the entire Torah; the Shemah and V'Ahavtah. In the Shemah, the Israelites affirm their faith in one God, and in the V'Ahavtah paragraph that follows, we talk about the many ways in which we express our love and commitment for God.
One of the ways we do so is through the way in which we educate our children. Chapter 6, verse 6, commands us to "teach our children" so that they too can learn to have faith and love God. In the Mishnah Torah (Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:2) Rambam, Maimonides, tells us that the commandment is not just on each individual to teach their own children, or their grandchildren, but on all of us to teach every child. According to Rambam, every one of us, in some way or another, is a teacher. And it is the more experienced and learned generation's responsibility to teach and lead the future generation by example, through the way they speak with and interact with others and the world.
The Rambam reminds us that all of us have a responsibility to teach by setting an example for others. This is why it is my hope and prayer that this Shabbat and beyond that we listen to the lessons of the V'Ahavtah, and that through the way speak to others and interact with the world around us, we can help spread a love for tradition, faith, and one another, to the future generations.