I thought I’d have a wonderful d’var to share here because I sat in on a class this week. The presenter listed some things a Jew should focus on based on our Seder Tefillah. When he listed it, I was perplexed. Seems he had it wrong. However, as the class went on, I decided I must be delusional for he spun such a beautiful entire scaffold out of his presentation that I was bedazzled. By the time the class ended, it was quite dark out. I headed out in to the streets and a few blocks up stopped in my tracks. I pulled out my Siddur and, there by the light of an awning fixture, found that the good man was quite mistaken, just as I had thought. Not only with one item, but with two.
In my head I heard my high school principal’s voice. She would never let us just rattle off the top of our heads – she would reiterate time and time again, “ohseeyohs machkeemohs” — delve into the book, read the words, see the verse for yourself.
How sad that many don’t learn how to learn independently, for then they are dependent upon the explanations and recollections of others…and that might often be mistaken.
If you are learning with someone as a mentor or a teacher, do our nation the great kindness of reinforcing, time and time again, “ohseeyohs machkeemohs”. Teach your student how to open a siddur, a chumash, or any sefer so they can go straight to the source.
And so, as lovely as the whole edifice of the speech was, I cannot share…for it was built on shifty sand, on something that was quite untrue.