A Rosh Hashanah Message from Head of School Dr. Jonathan Levy

September 13, 2023 / 5 mins read


Each year, as the Yamin Hanoraim approach, I am reminded of this poem, excerpted below, which is part of a beautiful prayer said on the night of Yom Kippur.

Like the clay in the hand of the potter, he expands it at will and contracts it at will…
Like the ax-head in the hand of the blacksmith, he forges it at will and removes it at will…
Like the glass in the hand of the blower, he shapes it at will and dissolves it at will…
Like the curtain in the hand of the embroiderer, he makes it even at will and makes it uneven at will…

For those of us in the world of education, the fact that the Jewish New Year so often coincides with the beginning of the school year seems to imbue these lines with particular meaning. Just as skilled tradespeople mold their materials into objects of beauty, so too do we as educators, together with parents and families, shape the lives of our students.

Of course, from time to time, the “materials” may balk at our efforts, as only adolescents can! Arguably, it’s also good for us to know when to step away and allow the beauty to emerge on its own. And it certainly behooves us to nurture and elicit rather than to impose at will.

At TanenbaumCHAT, we are proud to walk this delicate tightrope as we play a role in molding the next generation and cultivating the future of our community.

Whether we weave connections between our students and their Jewish roots, work to ignite their curiousity, or provide them with the tools to shape their own sense of self, ultimately our students will come to “make” themselves, find their way and play their own role in contributing to our school, our community, the world.

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and sweet new year of creativity, peace and fulfillment.