#1 Permeated with מסירת נפש

A story about Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka's חינוך in honor of כ''ה אדר the Rebbetzin's birthday.

The מלמד of the Frierdiker Rebbe's daughters wanted to teach them only things that fit into שכל, not to scare them with stories of ניסים and מסירת נפש. 

The Frierdiker Rebbe told him that on the contrary, a yiddishe child needs to start his חינוך specifically with stories of מסירת נפש. The Frierdiker Rebbe said that דווקא this is what resonates with a Yiddishe child.

The Rebbe brings out from this story that theChinuch of Yiddishe Children should be permeated with מסירת נפש. 

(משיחת ש''פ יתרו, כ''ב שבט תשמ''ט)

 

#2 Great potential in each student

Mrs. ...  was a devoted teacher in a school. At some point she was being pressured by another school to change jobs. Mrs.  ...  was uncertain whether to continue in the current school or take the new opportunity which had more favorable conditions.

The Rebbe answered in a letter: (free translation)

… Regarding the field of Chinuch, there is a very important and main point:  many times it is very hard to estimate the potential of the students and where it will lead them in the future. Meaning that even those that look like simple students at first glance, it's very possible that talents will be revealed by them or such perseverance and diligence that they will be successful in the learning and behavior much more than the capable and talented students, and they will end up being the pride of the school and teachers. 

As we saw in the past the great effect of the power of persistence even when the capabilities were simple. And how out of ordinary capabilities were revealed that which couldn't be imagined before.

Especially in the school that you are working in until now, it seems from your description that it fits the מאמר חז”ל  that הזהרו  בבני עניים שמהם תצא תורה— and regarding this school you have a special responsibility and obviously a special pull because it's natural that a person cares for whatever he worked on. 

From all of the above you can understand my opinion that you should continue working in the school that you have the holy position until now with strong hope and Bitachon, and for sure your devotion to the above work would be the channel and vessel to added success in your Avoda, and added Bracha also in your private things and the things of your family that you requested and will be mention at the holy Tzion of the Frierdiker Rebbe that the school is named after him and being one with his spirit.

With blessings for good news in all of the above.

 

#3 Giving צדקה to students on ערב שבת

One of the great מצוות is the מצוה of צדקה, that is equivalent of all מצוות, and especially in our generation ''דרא דעקבתא דמשיחא''.

To set an addition in giving צדקה - every principal of an educational institution (Cheder, Talmud Torah, Yeshiva Ketana and Gedola), should give out a coin for צדקה to each student and employee of the institution. 

The main point is to be a living example to inspire the students, and the בפועל - to actually give צדקה with adding more on their own, as the desire of their pure heart.

It should be done at least once a week (even better) it should be done on ערב שבת (before going away for שבת) - as the concept of giving צדקה (providing the poor people with their need) is being additionally highlighted at that time.

( משיחת שבת פרשת לך לך, י''ג מר-חשון ה' תש''נ )

 

#4 Educate in the ‘old’ manner

 A lesson in Chinuch from a letter of the Rebbe Rashab in honor of His Yahrzeit on Beis Nissan:

I received the letter about the program you want to establish in the Cheder that you are opening. What program do you need, when Hashem inspired you to do what is good and right in His eyes - to teach the children in the ‘old’ way as was accepted by the greatest of the ראשונים.

The Cheder should be in the old format without any changes whatsoever. In the learning in Cheder, and especially in the beginning of learning, besides for the knowledge there is a main point of instilling in the children אמונה, יראה and קדושת התורה that come naturally from learning. And any changes and new ideas cause a lack in the above, and such a lack that we can't even imagine.

There are things that people consider insignificant and in truth ‘great mountains’ depend on them. If you speak words without אמונה it is a big deficit.

If you educate and raise your children in the way that you were educated and raised  אי’’ה your  children will be like you. And Hashem should give that the fathers and sons together should be earnest in fulfilling the true purpose. Hashem should make you successful in infusing the children with אמונה הקדושה and יראה טהורה and the greatness and holiness of תורה.

 

#5 Great Responsibility as Hashem’s Shluchim

In our days, when the destructive winds are blowing not only in the streets, but unfortunately they also penetrated the מוסדות חינוך and even ישיבות,  the responsibility and automatically also the זכות is much greater of each and every one who the youth listen to and who have the ability to influence them.

Therefore,  מחנכים and בעלי השפעה should see themselves as שלוחים of Hashem, in the time and place that they’re at, to illuminate, elevate, purify, and make holy their surroundings with the light of תורה and מצוות the way they are illuminated by the מאור שבתורה.

(אגרות קודש ח p.190)

 

 #6 Two fundamental concepts to teach youth

A delegation from a girls school came to the Rebbe to get guidance and chizuk in their Avoda.

Excerpts - Part I

* There are 2 main points that have to be highlighted and emphasized in the chinuch of the youth in America and especially in the Chinuch of girls

1 - Instill in them what is brought down in the first Halacha of the first chapter of Shulchan Oruch

“אל יבוש מפני בני אדם המלעיגים עליך בעבודת הבורא יתברך" 

Don't be ashamed from people who put you down / make fun of you in the way that you serve Hashem.

We see that יהודה בן תימא brings עז כנמר - strong like a lion first (before the other fundamental attributes needed to serve Hashem) because that is the main point that is needed for ‘עבודת ה

2 - Kabbolos Ol -  listening to whatever their parents / teacher tell them and accepting the Ol of Torah & Mitzvos.

(הוספות לשיחות קודש תשכ"ח א - p 506)

 

#7 Make a big Shturem about Chinuch

A traveler got some guidance from the Rebbe for his trip.

It would be a very good idea that while you are in the city that you are going to, you should visit the community and inspire the Askonim there regarding Chinuch with  קול רעש גדול a big Shturem and as well regarding other Yiddishkeit issues.

Based on the rumors that come here, there is a lot of money there but the activities are not the way it's suppose to be - and maybe even less than that.

Who knows maybe that is the real purpose and Divine Providence that you are visiting there - like it says   ומה' מצעדי גבר כוננו (Hashem guides the footsteps of man)

Azkir Al Hatziyon for all of the above.

 

#8 Hiring teachers for girls schools

A delegation from a girls school came to the רבי to get guidance and חיזוק in their עבודה.

Excerpts - Part II

* There is a preference to hire a woman teacher over a man teacher because a lady’s יראת שמים is stronger and her השפעה is more effective by the תלמידות. (students)

* In the English department it is preferred to take a teacher who is a graduate from Bais Yaakov Seminary over a graduate from a Michlala.

(הוספות לשיחות קודש תשכ"ח א - p 506)

 

#9 Teaching more than the text

A delegation from a girls school came to the Rebbe to get guidance and Chizuk in their Avoda.

Excerpts - Part III

* You always have to  talk to the students about ‘גדלות ה, the greatness of creation and יקרת האדם  - the specialty of a person.

* Highlight and emphasize the beauty of Yiddishkeit and the pleasure of Mitzvos more than putting down עולם הזה . In other words to focus more on Asei Tov and not on Sur Mera

(הוספות לשיחות קודש תשכ"ח א - p 506)

 

#10 Practical guidelines in קודש subjects

A delegation from a girls school came to the רבי to get guidance and חיזוק  in their עבודה.

Excerpts - Part IV

*The רבי instructed to teach the 'א'-ב' and נקודות before learning the pronunciation.  When learning how to pronounce letters (with נקודות)  it’s okay if one doesn't go in order.

* When learning חומש and נ''ך do not skip any part like יהודה and תמר or דוד and  בתשבע etc.  It should be taught based on the יסודות of חז''ל.

* The רבי recommended the ספר דעת ספרים from Rabbi Rabinowitz to use his ביאורים to explain stories in תנ''ך.

(הוספות לשיחות קודש תשכ"ח א - p 506)

 

#11 Practical guidelines in Chol subjects

A delegation from a girls school came to the רבי to get guidance and חיזוק in their עבודה

Excerpts - Part V

* The רבי directed not to use reading material of secular authors.  The רבי recommended to select the good stories and put it into a new format with a  new cover [after 25 years there is not any legal  issue in doing this]

* When studying books of English like nature / science etc we shouldn't take out or erase pages from the book because it aggravates the יצר - the desire of the students to find out what is missing.  The רבי mentioned that Torah Umesorah already published some books that suits our מוסדות.

* Based on Einstein's view, it's easier to understand today that the sun and other galaxies are surrounding the globe as it is accepted by us (in תורה)

(הוספות לשיחות קודש תשכ"ח א - p 506)

 

#12 Chinuch initiative - don't delay!

…I became a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe because of what happened to a schoolmate of mine. His name was Dovid Shlamyug, and he was a fluent Spanish-speaker from Uruguay. Dovid had a dream to go to Mexico City and open a Yeshivah high school something that did not exist in that city. He felt there was a tremendous need for it. He sought the advice of many rabbis in our Yeshivah and every one of them told him not to go. And then he went to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Next thing I see is Dovid packing his bags. When I asked him what happened, he explained: “The Rebbe advised me that not only should I go and open a Yeshivah, but I should do so immediately. I should get going now and arrive in Mexico City before Shabbat.”

He went and he succeeded; as far as I know that Yeshivah is still in existence today. I was so impressed by what happened with him that I resolved to seek the advice of the Lubavitcher Rebbe if any life issues came up for me…

(As related by Rabbi Meshulam Weiss Here’s my Story - JEM)

 

#13 A מחנך 's Yiras Shomayim 

Rabbi Weiss shares - part 2

...One story involved a job offer to be the head of the Talmud Torah at Beth Israel, an Orthodox synagogue in Miami Beach. When I told this to the רבי during an audience, he gave me the following advice:

“The main job of a Jewish educator is not to convey information, but to instill in his students a יראת שמים. But to do this, the educator must be a ירא שמים himself.”

Then he asked: “How can you make sure this is true of you?” In answering this question, the רבי used the following analogy. “There are two kinds of water wells,” he said. “One kind is filled from an underground spring, and it never runs dry. Another kind is a cistern which is filled with rain water. This type will run dry if the water is not replenished. An educator is akin to the second type, and he must always be replenishing the water – that is, the יראת שמים – within himself so he does not run dry. And I want to give you a blessing that you should succeed in constantly replenishing yourself and in conveying a יראת שמים to your students.”

(As related by Rabbi Meshulam Weiss Here’s my Story - JEM)

 

#14 Instilling a yearning for תורה 

From a letter to a מחנך:

...we are standing in the days of ספירת העומר

the מדרש relates that the reasoning of this מצוה is, that the אידן coming out of מצרים knew the promise to משה רבינו that they are going to receive the תורה on הר סיני so they counted the days out of their yearning to receive the תורה. 

May it be that you will utilize your השפעה in the Chinuch field to be מעורר and מחזק the yearning of the אידן to our everlasting תורה (with guidance for day to day life) until they will count the moments for an opportunity to fulfill it מצוות.

 גדול לימוד שמביא לידי מעשה.

This is especially regarding the youth, as it is known about חינוך - that it is like a young tree that every good effect in the younger years is multiplied so much, without comparison to the effort invested.

 

#15 Devotion

In response to your letter, in which you ask if you should accept the position offered to you by the principal of the school.

This decision depends on if your devotion is befitting such holy work. If it is, then 'ה's ברכות will dwell on it and as חז''ל say, יגעת ומצאת!

(From a letter of the Rebbe on ח''י כסלו תשכ''ו )

 

#16 Involving the Students

In response to your letters, I was happy to read about the Farbrengens that you organized for י''ט כסלו, and that you explained to the students the story of the יום טוב. 

It would be good that on such occasions, a few of the students  should also speak at the Farbrengen in order to make them more involved.

Although most of the time they will need help in preparing the speech, there will be some part of the preparation that will be theirs too (which increases their involvement). In addition just the fact that they are speaking is of much value for them.

(From a letter of the Rebbe on  ד' טבת תשט''ו)

 

#17 Importance of activities with the students

In response to your letter in which you write that you are not satisfied with the participation  of the students  in Shabbos Davening and Shabbos activities, and you are asking if you should continue organizing them.

Obviously the main thing is to find out the reason why they are not joining and to do whatever is possible to take away that reason.

It is simple and clear that the activities with the students are no less important then the actual learning and as חז''ל say גדולה שימושה יותר מלימודה, serving and being around תורה is even more important then the actual learning. And we see this also in reality. 

And as it says ותשועה ברוב יועץ, advice comes from asking for advice, I hope that you are going to talk among yourselves and get advice, and Hashem should help you to find the solution to fix the situation as soon as possible. 

(From a letter of the Rebbe on ד' אייר תשכ''א)

 

#18 Separating boys and girls

The Rebbe was asked about having boys and girls together if it is very expensive to have them separated. 

“The financial argument that it is more expensive to run separate classes for boys and girls, is no argument at all, as the matter vitally concerns the future of many children, and even if the future of a single child were involved, money could be no consideration, as our חכמים say, 'He who saves one life is deemed to have saved a whole world'.”

(From a letter of the Rebbe on the 4th Day of חנוכה 5715 )

Full letter: Chabad.org/2076262

 

#19 The Children are the Guarantors

When the Torah was given, the children became the guarantors that the Torah will be learnt and guarded. From this we see clearly the importance of true Torah education and what our approach to Chinuch should be. The educators have to implant in the hearts of the students a love for the Torah and a fear of Heaven along with love for Hashem and love for his fellow Jews.

 (from a letter of the Rebbe)

(ממכתב א' במדבר ה׳תשכ״ו)

 

#20 Careful Selection of Reading Material

In all countries, the mood that prevails in the school and the purity of the educational texts and reading material [given] youth have a profound influence on the life of the young generation. Certainly, this is true in this country where parents have far less influence over children than in other countries. [Accordingly,] the schools must have the highest quality of supervision and the reading and study materials given the students must reflect principles of purity and holiness in addition to being able to fulfill the pedagogic purpose [for which they were chosen]. Then we can hope that the younger generation will be “an upright generation who will be blessed” in all  particulars even if the conditions of their setting and their era are not desirable.

(I will write it in your hearts volume 2 letter 153)

 

 #21 Appropriate Chinuch for different stages

The Chinuch of a ילד (young child) is very different from the Chinuch of a נער (older child) and the Chinuch of a נער is very different from the education of a boy who reaches the age of בר מצוה. 

The education of a ילד - young child - begins primarily in areas of cleanliness, modesty and proper manners. For example, a child must learn at meal times not to eat like a glutton. These things are seemingly small, but they are most fundamental to be worked on because they are the traits that differentiate a human being from an animal. 

The education of a נער is on a higher level. It includes learning the ברוכות of the different foods, developing a proper attitude to learning, respect for others and honor for his parent and teachers. 

The education of a boy who reaches בר מצוה emphasizes doing מצות beyond the letter of the law, following times of Davening with a Minyan on time, not wasting time, studying with diligence and learning from those who are superior to him. 

Educating children's is done in this way, elevating the child from level to level until he reaches the proper level for his stage. 

(Excerpt from מאמר כללי  החינוך וההדרכה, by the Frierdiker Rebbe, chapter 8)

 

 #22 Summer Influence

This letter was addressed to R. Yehoshua Tanchum Kastel of Dorchester (Boston), Massachusetts on 4 Tammuz 5711:

 “…I would be interested in knowing about the schedule of the Yeshivah during these vacation days. You will also surely share good news about this, i.e., that you found a way through which to influence the students during the vacation. I have already said that in several matters it is possible to influence the students during the vacation much more than during the school term for several reasons.”

With blessings for success in your holy work which, as a natural consequence, will also lead to success in your personal affairs.

(Source: I will write it in your hearts volume 8 letter 0176)

 

 #23 Manner of Speech

“A מחנך must realize that not only is it essential for him to use appropriate phrases in lessons, but that their manner of expression – whether he expresses them politely and patiently, or irritably and derisively – also affects the foundation of education and guidance. 

The benefits of true חינוך and הדרכה - guidance are attainable only through the observance and meticulous fulfillment of all the related prerequisites. Only then will the חינוך and guidance endure forever, and manifold ברכות will be bestowed upon the מחנך”

(Source: כללי החינוך והדרכה פרק ה )

 

#24 Goal of Tomchei Temimim

The holy Yeshivah Tomchei Temimim is one of the largest Yeshivos in the world, both in size and in stature. However, its nature and character as a Chabad yeshivah make it unique among all other Yeshivos: [to use a metaphor,] the orchard is special, the trees are special, and the one who planted it and cares for it is special. Tomchei Temimim is not merely an academy for study and teaching; it is also a training facility, where Jewish youth are trained in Torah and Avodah, so that Torah study and fulfillment of the Mitzvos may be done with relish and inner vitality, and not merely by rote.

(Hatomim Issue No. 7, p. 745-7)

 

#25 Conduct befitting a Tomim

From a letter of the Frierdiker Rebbe:

Your letter of Chof Hei Sivan reached me promptly. From the mere account of the students’ names, ages and places of learning, it is hardly possible to determine their status of study, general conduct, and especially the unique mode of conduct befitting students of Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch.

Namely, in addition to accustoming them to study with great diligence coupled with a desire for in-depth study, one must also generate within them the aspiration and eagerness to conduct themselves with the customs and lifestyle imparted by chassidus.

They should appreciate the Chassidus Chabad mode of conduct; enjoy listening to a Chassidishe story, listening to a Chassidishe melody as it is sung during Davening, or how a Jew recites a chapter of Tehillim with emotion.

(Igros Kodesh Rayatz vol 9, p. 443)

 

#26 Children want the essence

In connection with Chof Cheshvan, the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, the Frierdiker Rebbe related a story of the Baal Yom Huledes which happened when he was a child of 4 or 5 years old on Shabbos Parshas Vayeira.

The Rebbe Rashab went in to his grandfather, the Tzemach Tzedek, crying. He asked “why did Hashem appear Himself to Avraham Avinu, and to us He doesn't appear?”

...From here we can learn a lesson, that especially a child of 4 or 5 years old, literally, we can educate in this manner that he should strongly demand, to the point of crying, that Hashem should appear to him, as He did to Avraham Avinu.

(Likutei Sichos vol. 15, p. 129-30)

 

#27 Environment of Yiras Shomaim

It is a great necessity that the conduct of day to day life should be fitting to the directives of our Torah- the Torah of life, which is a lesson for life. This is the only way to achieve happiness both in Ruchniyus and in Gashmiyus...

In light of the above, you should endeavor to remain in an institution and surrounding permeated with Yiras Shomaim. Moreover, considering the measure of influence of the ‘street’ etc. It must be an environment of steadfast Yiras Shomaim, in order that you should not be influenced by the temptations and enticements coming from the ‘left’...

(Excerpt from Igros Kodesh vol 23, let 8813)

 

#28 Chinuch is a matter of Pikuach Nefesh 

Regarding self-confidence and a desire in Avodah, she should contemplate that: 

1) Every one of the Jewish people is Hashem’s shliach to illuminate this world etc.

2) Chinuch of the Jewish people now is an Inyan of Pikuach Nefesh Mamesh

For sure this will help for the above matter.

(Ksav Yad of the Rebbe)

 

#29 “I cannot sleep at night…”

During the month of Tishrei 5721, Harav Shmuel Chefer, the dean of Beis Rivka of Kfar Chabad, had a lengthy Yechidus with the Rebbe. During the Yechidus, the Rebbe began to discuss the location of the girls’ school and seminary. The Rebbe raised his voice and said, “I cannot sleep at night due to the close proximity of the girls’ and boys’ schools!” 

This view was echoed in a letter written to President Shazar (Igros Kodesh vol. 24, p. 126) where the Rebbe writes that only due to technical difficulties was the Kfar originally set up as one village. But now that it has been made possible, the educational institutions should be situated in separate locations, the boys in Kfar Chabad, and the girls in Kfar Chabad 2.”

(Taken from Teachings of the Rebbe on Chinuch)

 

#30 Imparting good Middos

The most important aspect of Chinuch is not expressed in acquiring a vast amount of knowledge. Rather, the main essence of Chinuch is in relation to Middos. This means that the one being taught should be an Adam fitting of that title, being good natured in day to day life. Consequently, it is understood that the one being taught makes use of all his knowledge for righteous, honest and peaceful purposes.

(Hisvaaduyos 5742, vol 3, p. 1197)

 

#31 It’s all in the mind

Truthfully, I wish that even the older ones (adults) wouldn’t know of these subjects [secular studies], how much more so concerning a child. We ought to avoid these subjects at least until the child is nine years old or twelve years old. I would even insist that this be implemented even further for older ages but, as our sages tell us: “Tofasta M’rubah-lo Tofasta”- If one grasps excessively, one fails to grasp anything at all!

The Almighty declares that He doesn’t need His Gan Eden, nor His Bais Hamikdash. All He wishes for is ‘V’shochantie B’sochom’- to dwell among them, in the minds of the Jewish children-this is where the Almighty wants to be. Yet instead, we ‘take’ this mind and defile it with secular studies.

In truth, one would rather have his child study only Secular studies, but because he has a ‘Zaide’, or one fears a certain Jew living in New York…they also teach him Torah. Where is the Yiddishe Schtoltz’?

(Sicha, Simchas Torah 5715)

 

#32 A suitable replacement

Mrs. Chaya Sara Marozov relates a story of how the Rebbe impacted her as a teacher. She was teaching 4th grade in Beis Rivkah Montreal as a single girl. In Cheshvan of 5729 she got engaged. Her and her Chosson decided to spend the first year in Crown Heights where he can learn in the Kollel. The principal of Beis Rivkah, Dr. Slavin, wasn’t so happy with her leaving in middle of the school year. She asked the Rebbe what she should do. The Rebbe responded, “Im Hi Timtzah Memalei Makom Masim”, if she will find a suitable replacement. The Rebbe cared for the students and didn’t want them to be left without a proper teacher. In those years, it was very difficult to find teachers, let alone a suitable one. So, as per the Rebbe’s instructions, she stayed on for the remainder of the school year, while her husband learned in Kollel in Montreal which was an extension of the one in New York. 

 

#33 Emphasize the beauty of Yiddishkeit

The students should always be spoken to about the greatness of Hashem, the greatness of the creation, and the preciousness of man.

There should be more emphasis on the beauty of Yiddishkeit and the pleasantness of Mitzvos, than on criticizing Olam Hazeh. This is to say, focus on Asseh Tov, and not on Sur Me’ra.

(Hosafos L’Sichos Kodesh 5728, vol 1 p. 506)

 

#34 Chassidic Stories

I was very glad to read in your letter that you endeavor to relate and permeate within your students (boys and girls) Chassidic stories, as well as teachings of Chassidus...

(Igros Kodesh vol 7, let 1926)

 

#35 A far reaching decision

A number of years ago, a couple came to London

 to work in Chinuch. The wife wrote to the Rebbe that she was unhappy and that she longed to be in Crown Heights. “Surely”, replied the Rebbe, “you do not mean that you miss the stones or the wood of the neighborhood. It is obvious that you miss the Ruchniyus there. This can be found in my institution in London.”

Every Chabad institution, wherever it may be, contains some of the Ruchniyus found in the environment of the Rebbe. If we wish, our children can be educated there.

(Taken from Chabad Chinuch- Choice or Necessity )

 

#36 Withstanding life’s tests 

Certainly it is unnecessary to make mention of the fundamental and underlying obligation of each teacher and educator: to immunize children so that they will be able to stand up to the tests of life and the winds that blow in the world without wavering from the path of life, which is the path of our Torah, the Torah of life..

(Igros Kodesh, vol. 13 p. 332-3)

 

#37 Equal Rights in Education

From a letter of the Previous Rebbe:

With thanks to the Almighty, I am pleased to hear the good conduct of your daughter. May the Almighty assist you both materially and spiritually. Yet, I am troubled by the fact that you are still unable to fulfill her desire to begin studying Chassidus (with her).

The measure of attention on the part of parents, teachers and proficient educators attributed to the education and guidance of the daughters of Chassidim must be parallel to the attentiveness attributed to the education of the sons of Chassidim.

(Igros Kodesh Rayatz vol 4 p.186) 

 

#38 Neshamos in Gan Eden are envious of you

Every Wednesday afternoon, student volunteers from the Lubavitch yeshiva would interrupt their studies for several hours, travel to New York City’s public schools, bring their charges to local synagogues and teach them their traditions. Then they would escort them back to their respective schools.

One studious young man wrote to the Rebbe, asking to be excused from participating in the program, as he felt he was wasting time. First, he wrote, he didn’t think he actually achieved very much. Every week he recited prayers with the children but didn’t believe that the prayer sessions had any lasting effect. Second, it took three or four hours out of his day to travel to the school assigned to him, pick up the children, teach them, and drop them off, then return to the yeshiva. He felt his time would be better spent furthering his studies. 

The Rebbe replied: “I want you to know that on Wednesday afternoons, all of the Neshamos in Gan Eden, including Moshe himself, envy you for the unique opportunity you have each week to say Shema Yisroel and recite a Bracha with a Jewish child. Their Neshamos no longer have the opportunity to interact with Jewish children and bring them closer to their Father in Heaven. Do you know what they would give for the privilege that you have?”

(Taken from Seeds of Wisdom, p. 52)

 

#39 Connect all Learning to Yiras Shamayim

...The educator should seek out a way to integrate in all the learning a saying that will arouse Yiras Shamayim and conclude regarding the performance of Mitzvos...

(Excerpt from Igros Kodesh vol. 15 p. 132)

 

#40 How the Rebbe cherished children

Part 1 

Rabbi Yaakov Zvi Roth relates:

I started teaching in Miami, at what was then called Oholei Torah Day School (now Lubavitch Educational Center), and I do believe that, because of the Rebbe’s blessing, I am still teaching there after forty-six years.

In the course of my teaching, I saw the Rebbe’s tremendous involvement and interest in Jewish education. Because of this, it became my custom to write to the Rebbe a few times a year about what I was teaching in class and, along with my letter, I would also include letters from the children.

Whenever my class would write to the Rebbe – which happened two or three times a year – the Rebbe would respond, including many personal details. His letters were usually sent “Airmail Special Delivery” and signed by him personally.

(Excerpt from Jem-Here’s my story, Parshas Chukas 5778) 

 

#41 How the Rebbe cherished children

Part 2 

On another occasion , around Chanukah time, the Rebbe wrote:As we have now entered the month of Kislev, highlighted by the festival of Chanukah, we are once again reminded about the need to advance steadily in all matters of Torah and Mitzvot. … The lights of Chanukah are kindled in growing numbers from day to day. Although when one kindles one light on the first night of Chanukah, the Mitzvah is fulfilled to perfection, yet when a day passes what was good and perfect the day before is not good enough now, and one more candle has to be lit on the second night of Chanukah, and still one more on the third, and so forth. This teaches us that the light of the Torah and Mitzvot, of which the Chanukah lights remind us, has to spread in a growing measure, to light up yourself, your home, and everything around you with the light of Torah and Mitzvot.

In every one of his letters, the Rebbe showed the children a tremendous amount of encouragement. I personally was deeply moved that the Rebbe would take so much time to respond to small children, no more than nine years old, and that he would write so many letters to them year after year. These letters were very precious to me, and I let the students know how honored we were to receive them. Whenever a letter came, the students would stand, and I would read the Rebbe’s letter to them. They would become very excited to receive a special letter from such an important person who cared so much about them.

(Excerpt from Jem-Here’s my story, Parshas Chukas 5778)

 

#42 Focus on the Positive

Clearly, one should not decrease and lower the standard of education in an institution on account of particular students who are careless with regard to issues inconsistent with the spirit of Chabad. Thus, the issues you mention are naturally rejected.

Yet, as concerning all conduct of Lubavitch, all matters should be performed pleasantly (but without conceding). Thus, one should not expel the students, but rather explain to them the negativity of such activities, and how they yield results that are Chas V’shalom harmful to their welfare etc.

Most importantly, however, one’s communication with them should not be according to the methods employed by the sages of Mussar, who expend the majority of their time and effort describing and explaining the evil.

Rather, one’s endeavors and discussions should be focused on describing the virtue of authentic good. Simply put, one must spend time Farbrenging with them (of course, regarding subjects that are within their realm of understanding) through stories, Chabad Niggunim etc...

(Igros Kodesh vol 12 let 4,195)

 

 #43 Laying the Cornerstones

In years past, the role of the Yeshivos and Talmud Torahs was primarily to promote the students’ advancement in Torah-study.

The observance of the Mitzvos and Jewish customs was a given, recognized by every Jewish boy and girl. This was due to the simple fact that they were raised with proper Chinuch at home, coupled with spending their time in an appropriate environment when they weren’t within the walls of the Bais Midrash and Yeshivah.

Today, times have changed. Nowadays, it is the primary duty of the Yeshivah and the Talmud Torah, to raise the student to be a ‘Yirei Shamayim’, a Jew observant of Torah and Mitzvos, and subsequently, into a Lamdan. In addition, in those Yeshivos that were founded by the Rebbe, it is their responsibility to raise him to also be a Chossid.

In conclusion, it is incumbent upon every Talmud Torah and Yeshivah, particularly those that were founded by the Rebbe’s of Chabad, to concentrate all their affairs on reaching, first and foremost, the fundamental objective; the students should become ‘Frume, Erliche Yidden, Vareme Yidden, Chaddishe Yidden’.

(Igros Kodesh vol 4, let 949)

 

#44 Ingrain Children with Generosity

In every school, the students should establish a fund for gemilus chassadim to which each individual will donate from his own money from time to time…

In order to ingrain in the hearts of children to not only be generous with their money, but also generous with their actions, the children themselves should manage the fund. The students of the school should choose a manager, treasurer and so forth of the fund from among themselves. This will increase the feeling of responsibility of each student and connection to gemilus chassadim.

(Likutei Sichos vol. 16, p. 625)

 

#45 A Role of Distinction

This is indeed the function of the “Bais Rivkah” and “Bais Sara” schools, founded by my saintly father-in-law the [Frierdiker] Rebbe: To impress upon the hearts of the students, that they are B’nos Yisroel-to explain to them the sanctity of Yiddishkeit, the virtue and purity that it yields, and the responsibility that each one of them bears…

Our aim is that every student should recognize her duty as a Bas Yisroel, being a member of the Jewish nation, and one who will form a Jewish home in the future, as a Jewish mother.

Surely, for the sake of saving even one soul from straying from the path of Torah and Mitzvos, we must grant all we can toward this end. Particularly for girls, in whom we hope to see the fulfillment of the verse (Mishlei 14:1) “the wise among women, each builds her home”, on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos.

(Reshimos, Issue 30, p.10)

 

#46 The diamonds

Mr. Bobby Vogel relates: “I was instrumental in establishing a Lubavitch grammar school in London, and during my first audience with the Rebbe, the Rebbe told me, (paraphrased): ‘It seems that you do not know what you accomplished by establishing the school. You should know that every mitzvah achieves something. When you establish an educational institution, the achievement goes on forever. Though a physical person moves on from this physical world, the education he received is passed on to the next generation, and from that generation to the next…’ These were the Rebbe’s parting words to me, and he bid me farewell.

Years later, I was also intrumental in establishing a Lubavitch boys’ high school. During what was to be my last audience with the Rebbe, I told him that I could not continue financially maintaining the high school we had developed. The burden was, for the most part, resting on my shoulders, and I felt that it was too much for one person. 

The Rebbe smiled at me and said, ‘I will speak to you in the language of a businessman. Imagine you are dealing in diamonds. If you had a bag full of diamonds, and I placed some additional diamonds in there, would you complain?’

The Rebbe smiled again and said, ‘You are carrying diamonds. Never put them down; carry on.’

I have carried the merit of maintaining schools for over forty years. If you would ask me how this is possible, I could not give you an explanation. It is all with the help of Hashem.

(Taken from Advice for Life-Education, p. 32)

 

#47 Advice for an educator

Part 1 

B”H, 6 Adar I, 5711,

Brooklyn

Greetings and blessings,

I derived great satisfaction from your detailed report concerning the Beis Rivkah School in Crown Heights. I am jotting down some notes here that are relevant to this report...

d) Your report does not mention if the children are being trained in good manners, e.g., conduct during a meal, etc., helping a friend, etc.

e) It would be proper to do something to recall the Afternoon Service before the end [of the school day], for example, to recite the verse: “Open Your hand” and the three verses recited after Aleinu: “Do not fear"...

(Excerpt from a letter to R. Kalmen Katlowitz, Igros Kodesh-No. 914)

 

#48 Advice for an educator

Part 2

You are certainly aware of the extent to which my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, sacrificed himself for the sake of proper Jewish education and strengthening Judaism even with regard to the most basic matters, even though he could have used his time studying the secrets — indeed, “the secrets of secrets” — of the Torah. This is a lesson for each one of us. It is superfluous to elaborate.

Certainly, you will also add power to your educational efforts and your influence on your students and those whom you guide even while they are in their parents’ homes, to illuminate them with the light of the Torah and its Mitzvos in a manner appropriate with our Sages’ statement:5 “Words that come from the heart enter the heart.” The meaning of this is straightforward: speaking with heartfelt feeling.

With blessings for success in your work in Jewish education and in your personal matters,

(Excerpt from a letter to R. Kalmen Katlowitz, Igros Kodesh-No. 914)

 

#49 Chinuch-a priority

Reb Tuvia Blau served as principal of the Beis Chana Girls’ School in Yerushalayim. Additionally, he was involved in many projects of Hafatzas Hama’ayanos throughout Eretz Yisroel.

His two responsibilities often conflicted. Reb Tuvia felt that it would be appropriate to leave his teaching position and dedicate himself entirely to his other important responsibilities. 

After much deliberation, Reb Tuvia presented the idea to the Rebbe during his next Yechidus, in Tishrei 5728. Although the outreach work of Reb Tuvia was very dear to the Rebbe, the Rebbe did not allow Reb Tuvia to leave the school. 

The Rebbe explained, “You are successful in Chinuch. I do not think there is anyone in our generation who could take upon himself the responsibility of ‘freeing’ you from your Chinuch work in order to concentrate on other activities, worthwhile as they may be.”

(Heichal Menachem vol. 2, p. 216)

 

#50 Details Matter

…I know of no other means to further explain to each one of them that the intent of our sages in their statement expressing the totality of the Jew’s service of the Almighty “I am not created but only to serve my Master,” is not necessarily to perform astounding deeds- like the ‘eight golden garments of the Kohen Gadol.’ Rather, its intent and objective is for each of us to implement this message of our sages in our everyday lives, especially concerning matters that society deems trivial and insignificant; those that one “treads upon with his heal”.

As with the teachers…this is intended in regard to the minor, petty details of the day to day routine. If they are appropriately dealt with, they will succeed in preparing a righteous and blessed generation, whom they will accompany when preceding to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu, proudly proclaiming “r’uh Gedulim Shegidalty”- behold the children that I have raised!

(Igros Kodesh vol 10, let 3,310)

 

#51 Releasing the Student from the Coercion of the Yetzer Harah

One of the roles of the educator is to release his student and Mushpa from all external coercion, and especially from the internal coercion of the Yetzer Hara and Nefesh Habehamis, and to connect him internally and externally to the Yetzer Hatov. Only then will the child (whether he is young in years or in knowledge) grow to live a fulfilling life without rifts and wars between the Yetzer Hatov and the Yetzer Hara.

(Igros Kodesh vol. 10, p. 100)

 

#52 The Rebbe’s expertise

Two students came to see the Frierdiker Rebbe. They joined the long line and were surprised to be taken to the front of the line straight into Yechidus.

The Frierdiker Rebbe acknowledged their unspoken question.

“Outside”, he explained, “there are many people waiting to ask my advice about business, about medicine, and Halacha, and some like you, about Yiddishkeit. My purpose is to teach Torah and Mitzvos, so I invited you both to the front of the line.”

(Taken from Chabad Chinuch-Choice or Necessity) 

 

 #53 Importance of following “old” way of Chinuch

The Cheder ought to be conducted in the ‘old’ manner without deviating from it even one iota. A major component of the Chadorim, particularly during the primary years of study (besides for the academic aspects per se), is instilling Emunah and Yirah, as well as a sensitivity for the Kedushah of the Torah, which should naturally follow from the study itself.

Thus, any changes serves to weaken its standard and one can often fail to foresee the results. There are various issues perceived to be of minimal significance, but in truth, ‘great mountains’ are dependent on them.

If you will educate your children in the manner in which you yourselves have been raised, your children will follow suit and emulate you. May Hashem help that the parents as well as their children be sincere in fulfilling the true Divine intention, and succeed in imbuing within the children Emunah, Kedushah and Yirah for the Torah…

(Excerpt from Igros Kodesh Rashab vol 2, p. 925)


#54 Practical Aspects of Yiddishkeit

I would suggest that the curriculum could be improved by allotting more time to the practical aspects of Yiddishkeit, in the knowledge and observance of the practical Mitzvos, imbued with the true spirit of Torah, even if this would mean curtailing other subjects.

In the same vein, with regard to the study of Hebrew, considering the limitations of time, I believe it would be more useful to devote less time to Dikduk, especially as Hebrew grammar is quite complicated, and more time to the practical knowledge of the language through a better acquaintance with the Nusach of Tefillah, translation of the prayers, the study of Chumash, Nevi’im etc.

Finally, I would like to be more explicit on a point alluded to earlier, but which is most important and effective in Chinuch and beneficial influence, namely, to involve the children in actual projects. These can be related every week to the weekly Sidrah, and to Shabbos in general, such as candle lighting, Kiddush etc. and to the special days in our calendar, particularly to the festivals etc. of timely relevance.

(Taken from Teachings of the Rebbe on Chinuch)