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MIFGASHIM  July 2011

MIFGASHIM July 2011

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 176

From:

Rabbi Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 20 Jul 2011 05:57:31 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (169 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 176


Contents:

1.         Erica Brown on the Three Weeks Before Tisha B’Av

2.         More on Memorization or Making Learning Memorable and Authentic

3.         Marshall Memo: A Principal’s Summer Book Club with His
Teachers and a Great Idea for Jewish Content Books Too


~~~~~~~~~


1.         Erica Brown on the Three Weeks Before Tisha B’Av

In “Observing the Three Weeks, For History’s Sake,” Erica Brown writes
in the July 8, 2011 edition of the NY Jewish Week about the relevance
of remembering the tragedies commemorated during the Three Weeks.  She
contrasts the way in which Americans mark Memorial Day and Israelis
mark Yom Hazikaron.  “Americans are rotten at reliving and sanctifying
history. Jews are professionals at it….In American military history,
we have lost over 2.5 million dedicated servicemen and women who
fought on behalf of this country, and yet we observe this fact by
taking our white shoes out of the closet.

What kinds of citizens are shaped by such an attitude? Those who fail
to appreciate what it means to suffer loss. Those who are unable to
respect the fact that communities are built not only on joy but also
on the sacrifices we make for what we believe in….

Jews are not only students of history; we are its stewards. Each of us
carries within us thousands of years and multiple layers of the past.
We walk in the world not laden down by tragedy but uplifted by our
capacity for survival. We do this not because we ignore history but
because we revere it.

The rhythm of the Three Weeks helps us think about our ancient
religious center, our holy city, the relationship we had with God then
and the price we have paid throughout history for our commitment to
tradition. We focus on loss but also pray that some of the internecine
struggles and external battles we fought once will not be repeated
because we have learned from our mistakes. We are also able to
appreciate the long spiritual timeline that brought us to where we are
today as a people. Ultimately, Jewish history’s triumphs are even more
miraculous than a polar bear at the equator.”

To access the complete article, go to
http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/observing_three_weeks_historys_sake


~~~~~~~~~


2.         More on Memorization or Making Learning Memorable and Authentic

Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in the Spring 2010 issue of Jewish Action reminds
readers of the benefits of knowing Torah by heart or at least well
enough for it to sustain the owners of that Torah at critical
junctures in their lives.  He shares excerpts from Rabbi Haim Sabato’s
novel “Adjusting Sights” (originally in Hebrew as Tiyum Kavanot).  The
novel describes Sabato’s and other soldiers’ experiences fighting in
the Golan Heights during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Facing the enemy, one of the tank gunners is searching for his target
and is said to relate:

“I had to find him. It was up to me. Another second and he would fire.
I couldn’t see a thing. Verses and snatches of Psalms came to my lips.
‘He will not suffer my foot to stumble. He that keeps thee will not
slumber. The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. I wait for the
Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. He shall cover
thee with His pinions and under His wings thou shall trust. His truth
shall be thy shield and buckler. The angel of the Lord encamps round
them that fear Him and delivers them. The angel of the Lord encamps
round them that fear Him and delivers them. The angel of the Lord . .
.’”

Later in the book, the narrator describes how he struggled to observe
the commandments despite the exigencies of war:

It was sunset. For the first time since my Bar Mitzva, a day of my
life almost passed without putting on my tefillin. I kissed them and
slipped them on to my arm, feeling the same shiver of love that I had
felt in the Maimonides Synagogue. . .

Roni was on the tank, inspecting the treads. He saw me and said:
What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see the sun has set? Don’t you know
you don’t put on tefillin after sunset?  I ignored him. I didn’t
believe the sun had set. There was still a red glow in the sky. . .
Yet even as I recited the “Hear O Israel” to testify to the oneness of
God, doubt gnawed at me. If only the clouds would part and reveal the
sun in all its splendor, as had happened to Nakdimon Ben-Gurion in the
story we learned as schoolchildren.

[At this point the story describing how a miracle was performed on
behalf of a Tanna, entailing the sun appearing in the sky despite the
hour of sunset having already passed, recorded in Ta’anit 19b-20a, is
reprinted.]

Such was the faith and love of the ancient Rabbis and the miracles
performed for them. I lifted my eyes to the sky, searching for a last
ray of sunlight. Lord of the Universe! Let Your love for Your
favorites be known. Miracles don’t happen every day.”

For the full-length version of the article, see
http://www.ou.org/index.php/jewish_action/article/67005/


~~~~~~~~~


3.         Marshall Memo: A Principal’s Summer Book Club with His
Teachers and a Great Idea for Jewish Content Books Too

In this Educational Leadership article, St. Louis principal Thomas
Hoerr tells how he started a voluntary book club with some of his
teachers several years ago. They read Howard Gardner’s book, Frames of
Mind, one chapter at a time and met over breakfast or lunch to share
their reactions. A third of the faculty took part, and in the fall,
members of the group shared their learning with the rest of the staff.
Hoerr says the ideas in Gardner’s book had a direct impact on
classrooms the next school year.

Since then, he has convened a group every summer, and he and his
colleagues have devoured and talked about:
-                 Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
-                 A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine
-                 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

“A summer book group won’t just boost your teachers’ professional
growth,” says Hoerr. “It’s a great way to develop collegiality among
teachers and administrators.”

“The Principal Connection: How I Spend My Summer Vacation” by Thomas
Hoerr in Educational Leadership, May 2007 (Vol. 64, #8, p. 85-86);
this article is available free at http://www.ascd.org; click on
Publications and navigate to the May issue.

The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12
education.  Individual subscriptions are $50 for the school year at
http://www.marshallmemo.com.

__________________________________________________________________________
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