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Pray for your students

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Teacher Yoel Spitz wrote the following:

"When I first began to teach, the thought that I had 32 students on my shoulders was too much for me. As if I had been given a stock portfolio of others to manage, whose value was 32 million shekels. I loved the students very much, but the responsibility drove me crazy. The solution arrived quickly and naturally enough: I took the list of the students' names and placed it in my prayer book. When I prayed on weekdays and on Shabbat, I saw the names of the students and I prayed for them. This practice made it easier for me. I felt that I had shared my burden with the Big Boss regarding those who, in fact, belonged to Him.

Last week in our school, pedagogical meetings were held. We thought about every student. We sent encouraging letters to them, we called them to ask what was happening with them, and I felt that we as a school were doing all we could on their behalf.  And in spite of this, the situation is truly complex. The tools that are generally available to me as a teacher (a smiling conversation in the corridor, going out to the yard together while on a break, a tap on the shoulder during class) – are simply not available.

Today I held two difficult Zoom classes. The screen lit up, but the fire in the students was not there. Their distress from this isolation was evident and the joy of learning was practically gone.
So I sat broken in front of the screen and asked myself: How can I help them? How do I bring them out of their distress? And then, I was reminded of what needed to be done."


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