Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
It’s happening. Today – carefully and according to all the guidelines – half a million children in first through fourth grades will return to school. The claim is sometimes made that the kids are returning to school in order that the adults can go back to work. This of course is not the main reason. The kids are going back to school because this is vital for their development and because education is the bedrock of our existence. Our sages write that we do not interrupt children learning even for the building of the Holy Temple.
So after all the jokes that September 1st became November 1st – to the extent that the kids don’t even remember which class they’re in – we should celebrate today since an integral component of our strength is functioning once again. This is also an opportunity to thank teachers for their dedication during this crazy period, at the end of which they do not get vacation but return this morning to the classroom.
In the song “You Won’t Defeat Me,” Yehoram Gaon tells us what he sees from this window: “Children with their backpacks on the way to school.” When society makes “children with their backpacks on the way to school” its top priority, nothing can defeat it.
Good luck to all returning students, with the hope that another million students with backpacks will join you soon.