Human confidence in what we think we know for certain almost always involves hope in things unseen.
Thousands of years of human evolution has trained our kids to know whatever happens, it shall pass. But sometimes, as a parent, I’m the one who truly needs that reminder.
There were three main ways my Judaism influenced how I played Jeopardy! — and discovered lessons that can be good for all of us to learn.
Rev. Mark Goodman and Rex Jung, Ph.D. ask, “How do we learn what we learn?”
“The Simpsons” is not simply entertaining — its humor often acts as a vehicle for learning.
We humans are naturally curious creatures — we are born to explore. A mission to Mars excites us because we simply don’t know what we’ll discover, or how exactly it will add to our knowledge, or what new technologies will arise as a result. Even if we don’t immediately sense its benefits, it still has value, because the journey of learning is its own reward.
“Knowing” can be a big problem, because “knowing” prevents “learning.” And so perhaps that’s why the Rabbis urged us to do something very challenging – to “teach [our] tongue to say ‘I don’t know.’”
It is far too easy for us to skim headlines and ignore context, to regurgitate ideas without considering them critically, and to find support only for perspectives we already buy into. Instead, we have a responsibility to go in depth.
Too often, preparing students to become bar or bat mitzvah feels like “studying for the test.” And as anyone who has ever “studied for the test” knows, the day after the test, all the information goes in one ear and out the other. Instead, becoming bar or bat mitzvah should truly be about making a transition — namely, from being a child in the Jewish community to becoming an adult. And so as our 13-year-olds grow and develop, and as we celebrate their entrance into the Jewish community, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to teach them skills for life-long learning.
We spend much more time wandering in the wilderness than living in the Promised Land. In fact, that may be why the Torah was given in middle of the wilderness — to remind us that while the Promised Land is wonderful, we learn our greatest lessons on the journey along the way.