This week's parsha
Get Out of Class
You know so much.
That there is G-d, and that life has meaning and a purpose.
Or that Abraham was thrown into a furnace for standing up for his beliefs, and that G-d gave his descendants the Torah at Sinai.
Or you know how to read the aleph bet.
Or you know a trick or two about marriage.
If you'd take a moment to consider, you'd surely come to the conclusion that you know so much, that you've accumulated much knowledge and experience.
Unfortunately there are millions of people around the world who don't know what you know. They don't have the Jewish, ethical, mentchlich education that perhaps you've been privileged to have. Ideas and ways of life that you might think are a given, have never reached hundreds of millions the world over.
It reminds me of the Ethiopian who was flown to Israel in the "Operation Moses" rescue campaign. As he exits the plane, a pushy reporter asks him, "So... how was your first experience on a plane?" The interviewee retorts, "While you're at it, why don't you ask about my first experience climbing stairs?!"
You really have so much to share with so many who know almost nothing.
Yes, it's true that life is a classroom, but not always must you be the student!
Here is an idea: how about changing your role in the classroom once in a while? Climb out of the peeling, knee-squeezing, student desk and walk up to the chalkboard (or smart board), put on a pair of glasses on the edge of your nose (with a string in back), and teach the class a thing or two. Show us what you've got.
Judaism was never an exclusive elitist group where only the learned and the ordained have the right to teach and inspire; rather, in the words of one chassidic master, "If the letter aleph is all you know, then teach aleph to someone who knows of it not!"
Simply: if you know something, teach it.
The name of this week's Torah reading is Ki Teitzei, "When you go out." This teaches us that there is a time when we must go out and spread the message. Don't be selfish with your knowledge.
Practically speaking, you can share a Torah thought at your Shabbat meal or at the community Kiddush. Teach your child, learn with your spouse, and (or) arrange a Torah lesson in the synagogue or in your house. Skype and phones are great options as well.
Okay, lesson over. Now, get out of class!