At first, I didn’t understand what was hanging there on the trees. We are used to a different kind of advertising signs. But in a visit to the Baharan Ulpanah in the town of Gedera, I recently discovered simple wooden signs with short educational messages. These poignant phrases were composed by the founder, Rabbi Abraham Baharan, who passed away in 1995. Last Friday, his wife and partner in founding the place, Rebbetzin Miriam, passed away at the age of 82. The signs that they made are still hanging there, even this morning. Here are just a few mottos that testify to the educational spirit of both of them:
- To appreciate your friend, first appreciate yourself.
- If you see a withered leaf, check to see if perhaps the whole tree is failing.
- One who clings to his troubles, his troubles cling to him.
- Is justice with you? Let your way of responding be just as well.
- Do not say “OK”. Say “Hineni” (Here I am!).
- Self confidence should be derived from G-d, not from people.
I thought these phrases should be shared publicly, not just in the premises of the school.