Monday, July 12, 2010

Chofesh HaGadol

Literally, the title means "The Large Vacation." What it refers to is this time of year in Israel when seemingly everyone is on vacation at some point...especially the little kids who are out of school and whose parents are looking for ways to fill their time. It is a time that finds Israelis criss-crossing the country on Tiyulim, camping, sending their kids to short-term day camps or some overnight camps and other fun activities. We are not yet sure what--if anything--we will be doing this summer as far as the Chofesh HaGadol, but we will talk about it in the near future.
But there was one observation I wanted to make about this Chofesh. The other day, as I was walking out of Shul in the morning, I saw a stack of small booklets with a little Pushka (tzedaka can) next to it. I just assumed that it was for people to donate money to a charity and receive some random book for their couple of shekalim. Then, I took a closer look at the booklet. It was arranged that during the Chofesh HaGadol, those who were students would have a guide to what to learn every day...a smattering of Torah, Mishne, Halacha, etc. As I stood there holding one of the books in my hand, I had a broad smile on my face, and someone (who thought I needed professional help, I imagine) asked what I was smiling at. I just told him that I truly love this country...and left it at that. But what did I mean? Here we are poised for this weeks'-long vacation season and students are not only encouraged to continue their Torah education over the summer, they are given the tools with which to do so. And I think that that is just amazing. What a country!

And speaking of Torah...I began to teach a Ladies Tefilla class on Sunday nights (4 weeks ago), and I absolutely love being back into adult education once again! I missed it and am very happy to be doing it once again. I know that MY tefilla is affected by this class as well...