The end of a school year is always a time for introspection for teachers, parents, and students. They look back at their ups and downs throughout the school year and try to plan for an even brighter future. Teachers often reflect on their year to identify successes and disappointments, hoping to build on them for the coming year.

This year was different with the ongoing situation in Eretz Yisrael. As mechanchim, we had many opportunities to inspire the boys. Returning from Sukkos to a new world, we started saying Tehillim after each tefillah. As the weeks went by, a rebbe in our Yeshiva K’tana of Waterbury had an idea to help maintain the momentum in these precious tefillos. Each week, a rebbe would choose a new kapittel, give a shiur explaining the whole kapittel, and then throughout the week, the boys would say that kapittel, pasuk by pasuk, led by that rebbe, each day after davening.

Last week, the menahel announced that we concluded our new Tehillim for the year and would now review all of those kapitilach. He gave us each a booklet full of the 18 kapitilach that we had learned throughout the year—kapitilach of pain and sorrow, prayer and hope, and joy and salvation.

As the boys have been going through these precious words over the last few weeks, I could see how comfortable they have become with the words of Dovid Hamelech. They understand that there is so much depth and meaning in each of these words. They understand that these words are the words said throughout the generations in times of sorrow and salvation. They understand that as middle school boys, their tefillos make a difference. I stood in awe as they continued saying Tehillim with fervor, especially during the last week of the school year.

So, as I reflect on this school year, I look back and see the opportunities within times of sorrow to teach our children an invaluable lesson about the precious words of Tefillah and Tehillim. I hope that others will be inspired to teach future generations the power that lies within each word of Dovid Hamelech. With that, may our sorrow turn into salvation!

Rabbi Moshe Dov Heber is presently a Middle School Rebbi in Yeshiva K’tana of Waterbury, the Director of the Mishmar Evening Program in Waterbury and Division Head in Camp Romimu. He is a frequent contributor to various publications on areas related to education as well as speaks publicly on various topics. Rabbi Heber can be reached via email at