Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Kislev 10
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Train a young lad according to his method, so that when he grows older he will not deviate from it (Proverbs 22:6).

He shall not deviate from it - the child will not deviate from the method with which he was taught. That method refers to the way we are taught to adapt to life's many hurdles, struggles, and tests.

Education consists of more than just imparting knowledge; it also means training and preparation in how to deal with life. Knowledge is certainly important, but is by no means the sum total of education.

"A person does not properly grasp a Torah principle unless he errs in it" (Gittin 43b). People usually do not really grasp anything unless they first do it wrong. In fact, the hard way is the way to learn. Children learn to walk by stumbling and picking themselves up; young people learn to adjust to life by stumbling and picking themselves up.

Parents and teachers have ample opportunities to serve as role models for their children and students, to demonstrate how to adapt to mistakes and failures. If we show our children and students only our successes, but conceal our failures from them, we deprive them of the most valuable learning opportunities.

We should not allow our egos to interfere with our roles as educators. Parents and teachers fulfill their obligations when they become role models for real life.

Today I shall...

try to share with others, especially with younger people, how I have overcome and survived my mistakes.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...


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