Parshat Hashavua this week is Parshat Nitzavim.  Moshe explains to the whole community of Israel gathered before him that the Torah is not something distant and difficult to reach: “not in the heavens… or over the sea,” rather:

כִּֽי־קָר֥וֹב אֵלֶ֛יךָ הַדָּבָ֖ר מְאֹ֑ד בְּפִ֥יךָ וּבִלְבָֽבְךָ֖ לַֽעֲשׂתֽוֹ
It is very close to you, in your mouths and in your hearts, so that you can do it!

From this we derive the middah: “observe mitzvot through simple acts of speech and kindness.”  The verse is also a calling card for how children learn here at Heschel.  Whether in Torah, math, Hebrew, science, art, literacy, or any of the other subjects we teach, we strive for learning to be “very close” to our students.

At Heschel students learn through experiential, multi-sensory, and immersive activities that develop the heart, body, mind and soul of the child.  Our approach to Hebrew immersion literally places the words “in the mouths” of children; hands-on projects in science, math, art, and drama employ principles of active learning; mindful tefillah, and meaningful connections to Jewish learning speak to the heart.

This Shabbat, as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, let us all strive to “observe mitzvot through simple acts of speech hand kindness,” and for Torah to be “in our mouths, in our hearts, and in our hands.”

Shabbat shalom veshanah tovah,

Moreh Greg שלמה