A Letter for Summer Vacation
צילום: יעקב כהן

Mazal tov! The education season begins today! More than 700,000 adolescents started their summer vacation this morning. Soon, about 1.5 million kindergarten and elementary school children will join them. Here is a short paragraph from a letter sent once by Rabbi Yaacov Edelstein to the students of the Rambam school in Ramat HaSharon, just prior to their summer vacation:

“It is only the school year which is nearing its end. The learning process itself is not over, because learning is not just the acquisition of knowledge per se. Educational work is one’s striving to rise higher and higher, to become better all of the time, and this kind of education is never finished. Even when one completes all of the grades in the school system, there is still a need to keep on toiling with educating oneself. Why are the Torah Sages called ‘Talmidei Hachamim’ (lit.: wise pupils)? After all, we are talking about adults here, or even really old people! The answer is: man has to feel like he is a student throughout his life, striving to learn more and more.”

Rabbi Edelstein himself was such a ‘student’ for the 93 years of his life. And this is how he concluded his letter to the students:

“If during the school months the main ‘battle’ is around listening in class, not being late and doing well on exams, then during summer vacation, the “front” is different – helping parents, respecting siblings and behaving properly outside the home. This is why we shall say now: The school year is over – the self-education season begins. Good luck!”

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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