Parshat "Va'etchanan" and Shabbat Nachamu
Written by Morah Tali Dan, (our new 2nd Grade Judaic Studies / Hebrew teacher)
In this week's Parsha, "Va'etchanan", we once again merit mention of the עשרת הדברות, the Ten Commandments.
The Commandments are divided into two distinct groups. The first of the five Commandments is: אנכי ה' אלקיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים -“I am the Lord, your G-d.” The sixth Commandment is: לא תרצח “ Thou shalt not kill.” The first begins the Commandments which deal with mitzvot between Hashem and man. The sixth begins the Commandments which deal with mitzvot between man and his fellow man.
Is it by chance that these two Commandments are at the beginning of their respective groups? These Commandments are embodied in Moshe's speech in our Parsha. On the one hand, essential belief and faith is the foundation of our relationship with Hashem. On the other hand, the sanctity of human life is the basis of society's code of human interaction which ensures meaningful life.
These two Commandments which Moshe prefaces with are the keys to two relationships in life – the spiritual and the social. As educators, we must always nurture an environment which fosters a spiritual faith in our teaching and that also ensures a positive and empowering social environment which leads to a healthy, happy classroom and school.
May we gain strength and inspiration from "Shabbat Nachamu" or Shabbat of Comfort as we start preparing for the coming school year and infuse our school with the spirit of Torah, Ahavat Yisrael and Friendship.