From child to teenager, from teenager to adult, education helps shape the mind and develop the person. Tensions often rise as one begins High School. Separation from family may be part of the process as the teen establishes an individual identity. Adult family members are simultaneously encouraging focus on the benefits of advanced education, sometimes adding to the tension. Adult friends and family are challenged to offer support and guidance without judgment as the teenager navigates a time of personal growth.
הַיּוֹם בּוֹ נוֹלַדְתָּ
הוּא הַיּוֹם בּוֹ הֶחְלִיט הקב”ה
שֶׁהָעוֹלָם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִתְקַיֵּים בַּלְעֲדֶיךָ
רבי נחמן מברסלב
The day on which you were born,
that is the day on which God declared
that the world could not be preserved without you.
Reb Nachman of Bratslav
Just yesterday they first learned to crawl – wide-eyed sponges absorbing most everything said and done around them. In the blink of an eye, now it’s time for their next adventures of classrooms, books and play.
Jewish tradition enshrines education as a cornerstone of life and a portal for every cherished Jewish value. Education is the key to unlock each person’s great potential. With a poignant mix of emotion, we send our children into the world to learn, to teach and to transform the world.
“The blessing of graduation means greater freedom to grow into the person we were always intended to become. Parents and grandparents will always have a role — to support, to nurture, to guide. But with each graduation a step is taken towards following something like an inner voice rather than outer one.”
Off they go – gone but not gone, full-fledged adults but still fledglings learning to fly. College means learning, exploring, experimenting, risking and becoming as never before. We bless this journey of transformation – for openness to learning and intellectual rigor, for wisdom in self-discovery and sound choices, for creativity and fun, for healthy relationships, for all of life’s bounties. Nothing could be more Jewish.