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What's A Hero

10/01/2018 08:14:31 PM


Rokki Parrinello & Mandy Thalhammer

Someone with a cape? Fancy superhero suit? Super powers beyond those of mortals? Not really. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” How can we relate to those historical figures who hold a place in our Jewish life, having been braver for five minutes longer? They are reminders of our own ability to reach farther, do more, and make a real difference in the world. True heroes struggle and fail, like each of us. True heroes understand that - as circumstances change - so should our responses. It’s about knowing how to do the right thing, how to make a contribution to the world, and how to be a mensch, and how to live up to being created in God’s image. Each month throughout the school year, we will explore a core Jewish Value that leads to acts of true heroism. 

In the month of October, we will be focusing on B’tzelem Elohim – honoring the image of God in others and ourselves. In the Torah there is a beautiful belief that we are created in the image of God. “What does it mean to be made in God’s image?” And perhaps the most demanding question, “What are you going to do about it?” We all have a spark of God in us, and if we can see (or hear or sense) the holiness and goodness in humanity, we can be better guardians of the earth and of each other. Below is how B’Tzelem Elohim is explored by our Gesher L’Kesher Students.

I’m Katie Forsythe, and I teach 11th/12th grade Judaics, as well as non-Hebrew 8th-12th grade students. Although I am writing this article before the new school year actually starts, I am doing so because I, and my students, talk so frequently about October’s monthly focus of B’tzelem Elohim. This is the idea that we are created in the image of God, and so should act as such. We tend to think about this in the way that we should treat others as we would like to be treated, but this also means that we should be treating our bodies in a certain way as well. In our class, this usually leads to discussions about sexuality/gender identity, piercing, tattoos, and substance use, to name a few. I look forward to hearing what the kids have to say, and this year is no exception. I encourage parents, no matter the age of your child, to talk about how you expect your children to treat their bodies in the context of being created in God’s image. You might learn something yourself ;)

Important Religious School Dates for October:
Oct 5 Fri Family Shabbat Service
Oct 7 Sun Columbus Weekend
Ruach Day for Religious School
Oct 14 Sun Family Education - 1st Grade
Oct 21 Sun Announced Lockdown Drill
Oct 28 Sun Family Education- 2nd Grade
Religious School Committee Meeting 10-11:30
OSRUI visits Beth Tikvah

Thu, August 13 2020 23 Av 5780