Time is one of those crazy concepts (sorry Cher, you can’t turn it back, even if you can find a way).  It’s already April and we are in the middle of Passover (I assume that’s when this issue of the Pathfinder is released).  The passage of time, as a father of two, seems even more daunting since my sons will be 1 and 3 in May!

In March, Rabbi Moffic held a great class about Jewish community and I was amazed at how the texts that we studied, which are thousands of years old, are still relevant today. In that class, we did not have time to discuss one text that I find particularly relevant, from Pirkei Avot (2:5):

“Hillel taught: Do not withdraw yourself from the community; do not be sure of yourself until the day you die; do not judge other people until you stand in his situation; do not say “it is not possible to understand this” for eventually it will be understood; do not say “when I have free time I will study”, for you may never have free time.”

The topic last month was on community and, as you can see, Hillel’s teaching in the first line is about community.  However, I want to focus on the final line.  This verse pertains to finding a fixed time to study Torah otherwise we all may continue to prioritize different things in our lives and never make time for the study of Torah and Judaism. To me, this verse is what I think about when someone says to me, “How are there so many teenagers still involved at Lev Solel?”

It is because the teens we have at Lev Solel are selfless.  They take what could be a chance to sleep in on a Sunday or to go hang out at Starbucks on a Tuesday after school and they come to Solel.  They come here to be with their friends, sure, but they find even more meaning in their time here.  It’s been years since I was a teenager, but I imagine they think to themselves, “this is my free time, I am going to be a positive role model for the younger students.”  I am grateful that they would take their free time to be here to support Lev Solel in the classrooms, art room, working one-on-one with students on their Hebrew reading, and of course, the Madrichim that work alongside me in the office.

Thank you for putting aside a fixed time to connect with your Jewish community and I hope your free breakfast later this month is the least we can do to show our appreciation for all you do during your free time!

– Michael Schneider

Assistant Director of Education, Youth, & Engagement

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