Baltimore, MD - June 11, 2024 - Erev Shavuos 5784 - It’s the last day of the Omer.  We have counted 49 days and are eagerly awaiting, what I tell my preschoolers, the most special day of the year. We have celebrated milestone endings, like graduations and anticipate new beginnings of what’s to come, much like what happened at  Kabolas HaTorah.  We were a Nation badly scarred by trauma and by the Grace of G-d and the myriads of miracles that followed the Exodus, we became His, and He became ours, changing our destiny forever.

It is a narrative that echoes still to this day.  We are that Nation.  We have been beaten for so many centuries and time and time again we choose Him, and He chooses us.  October 7th has colored our whole year and it has changed us and the world in which the only choice is  Yisroel V’Oraisa D’Kudsha Brich Hu Chad Hu.

It is an awesome story to witness and to be a part of the great chain of our People linking back to that auspicious time of Matan Torah. We find ourselves  standing here once again at the bottom of the mountain, desperately waiting and yearning to climb to the top. We watch our children, of all ages, trying to do the same.  We partner with Hashem and bring Neshamos  into the world.  We care for them and do our best to raise them, and under our watchful eye, see the development and growth unfold. They blossom  and bloom, while tripping on some rocks along the way.  They fall and stumble and then get back up again. They tire of the climb and rest, sometimes stopping for longer moments.  We encourage them to keep on going and to never lose sight of the prize.  And in this process, we are climbing that mountain too. We are growing right alongside them.  When they fall, we feel that hurt just the same, if not more.  Sometimes, we too need to take longer breaks, or find a different path to follow, and urge our child to do the same.  At other times, all we can do is pray he finds that trail.   We may  wonder why the road is so rocky, so hard, so bleak;  we cry.  Our tears water the earth and soak the soil for more growth heralding grass and flowers.  The sun shines  stronger on the mountain travelers as we keep climbing higher and higher, breathing in the fresh air.  Stop for a moment and enjoy the vista.  It is beautiful and even more so to realize how high you and your child have climbed. Parents, Children, Teachers:   We are all part of the hike.  We are all part of the Plan and the bigger picture that Hashem has in store for His children.

Coincidental, or not, I celebrated my daughters high school graduation the same day as my preschool students in the morning.  It was a busy day.  It was an emotional day.  I am so grateful for being able to bring my daughter to this point, and to be an active part of the chinuch for my little guys.  I am still processing.  Rare is the day when one can see the Aleph to Taf process all at once and to compare the similarities in both instances.  Children are children.  Whether they are our own, or whether it is us as Banim Atem L’Hashem.  We grow, we stumble, and we never give up climbing.

It has been an interesting year, to say the least.   My children, my students have absorbed the Koach of Tefillah and Achrayus. It is a beautiful metamorphosis to witness.  I pray that in their merit  we reach the peak of  Kimu V’Kiblu Es Kol HaYehudim once again, whole in body and spirit, unified in Nationhood for that is indeed the prize. 

Mazal tov to the graduates, mazal tov to the parents, and mazal tov to the mechanchim.

Good Yom Tov!

(Morah) Judy Landman