5 Things I learned From My Jewish Studies

Torah High prides itself on teaching not only Jewish values, but teaching them in a way that helps our students make better life choices and succeed in their future. Over the course of our years in Jewish education, we’ve heard from hundreds of students about what it is that makes Jewish learning valuable to them, and what they will take with them once they leave. 

We asked one of our students to tell us what they learned over the course of their studies with us, and how those lessons have helped them after high school. 

5 Things I learned From My Jewish Studies

By Daniella Rosen, Torah High Student

  1. The Concept of Tikkun Olam

One of the things that struck me most while attending classes at Torah High is the concept of Tikkun Olam. There’s this beautiful passage in the Talmud that goes like this:

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

I remember hearing them and writing them down, and thinking about how I could be a person who embodies these kinds of ideals. Whenever I am doing something, and I think my impact is too small, I remind myself that we all have the obligation to help others even when we feel one person may not make a difference.

  1. Thinking About the Words We Speak

One of the concepts we delved into a lot during my time at Torah High is how important are the words we speak. Judaism has a concept of “lashon hara” that teaches us to mind how we speak. One thing I thought was exceptionally interesting was how the Torah says that to embarrass someone is worse than actually killing them. I really had to think about this, and how the words I say could affect other people. It taught me to pay attention to my speech and be careful when talking about others.

  1. Being a Part of The Jewish Community

Before Torah High I really didn’t care all that much about being part of the Jewish community. Participating in Torah High classes gave me the opportunity to listen to representatives of community organizations, such as JACS and Beit Halochem. We also had local politicians come to lecture, who helped us understand politics and how it might impact us. These opportunities helped me understand the larger Jewish community in which I live and how I can make an impact.

  1. How to Talk About Israel

Being Jewish and a Zionist on university campuses is hard, but it’s a lot easier when you know what you’re talking about. Having an in-depth understanding about the state of Israel and why it exists are tools that I use when faced with anti-Israel sentiment on campus. I remember well the seminar by Robert Walker, the Canadian director of Hasbara Fellowships, who gave us critical information that will help me deal with the anti-Israel sentiment that I know I will face when I get to university.  

  1. What It Means to Think Critically

One of the most valuable courses at Torah High for students going into university is, in my opinion, their grade 12 philosophy course. It’s a great introduction to many of the courses that I and my friends will probably take in university, and helps me develop the ability to engage in critical thinking.

If you’re thinking about sending your teen to Torah High, please join our next info session.

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