By Maayan Morali
On 11-12 May, we will mark Lag Baomer. The story associated with this holiday is about Rabbi Akiva and his students. They were hit by a terrible plague, killing 24,000 of them over a short period. However, for one day during this difficult time the plague stopped - and during that day, nobody died. For me this story symbolizes hope and finding the positive things, even in bad times.
Likewise, when talking about Rabbi Akiva, we emphasize his most famous teaching to his students: “Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha” – you shall love your friend as you love yourself. These two messages, of hope and the importance of taking care of each other have been the principles guiding us through almost two months of teaching online and adjusting to the strange reality of COVID-19.
This has been a challenge for the kids as well as for us, the HS teachers. Yet, we try to focus on the positive aspects – we get to explore new tools, such as the “Jewish Interactive” website and app, which is a great teaching aid. We believe the kids have learned new ways to communicate and to express themselves, and we were happy to hear positive feedback from of them and their parents who enjoyed the online sessions. I wish that the whole IJC community continues to support each other and keeps up the positive thinking!
Maayan Morali is IJC Head Hebrew School Teacher