A Note From a Thankful Parent
Dear Rabbi Hodakov,
Today, I was fortunate to have stayed in the shul after the school Minyan was over and I am so impressed and excited with what I saw and heard!
Apparently your class just started learning Parshas Tetzaveh which talks about the clothes of the Kohein Gadol. To make it come alive, you invited Menashe, a precious stone merchant, and his daughter Ronit, a certified gemologist to "show and tell" about the precious stones of the Choshen.
The children were each gifted with a a bag of stones that are believed to be identical to those on the Choshen and they learned ab.out the different types, colors, and their respective positions on the Choshen
The excitement in the room was very real, with each boy holding onto their new 'treasure' - probably their very first gemstone collection - evaluating what their newfound riches were potentially worth.
What a way to leave an indelible and unforgettable visualization of a section of the Torah that no doubt, even accomplished scholars still cannot translate or imagine what the verses listing the various stones - "Odem, Pitidah, Borekes" etc. - mean.
While this is the first time I "caught you in the act", I know that this form of teaching is a regular occurrence in your classroom. The learning is tangible, the obscure becomes clear, and the remote becomes present.
For the rest of my son's life, whenever he sees jewelry, he'll remember Parshas Tetzaveh. The same is true with the other demonstrations that you utilize to illuminate the subject matter.
Thank you for giving my son such a vivid learning experience that will, IYH, remain with him for his lifetime.