The Torah (Mishlei 22:6) tells us “chanoch lenaar al pi darko – teach a youth according to his way,” for every student is a unique individual and needs to be taught on his or her level. One meaning of the verse is that each child needs to be inspired, captivated and motivated in the specific way that reaches his or her heart.
Personalized education is more crucial today than ever. Many gifted and talented children have, may G-d Almighty protect all, fallen off of the Torah true path because of lack of interest. Their classes were not meaningful to them and neither was the method of instruction.
There is no greater suffering for a parent and there is no greater loss to Klal Yisroel, the Jewish community as a whole, than the spiritual loss of a child. This is often preventable and at the very least, every effort must be made to do so. To this end, many mechanchim now see that each child has a different and specific way of acquiring Torah. Different methods reach their heart and each child has a best way of understanding. Chok L’Yisroel, a small boys’ cheder in Crown Heights, was founded for this very purpose.
Here are some main challenges to Chinuch today: There are gifted students who become easily bored in an average class setting. Other students are very talented in some ways, yet struggle in other areas of learning. Others just need more one-on-one instruction or need a mentor who will motivate them both spiritually and academically. By discovering the challenges that an individual student faces, we can find the path that will truly motivate each one. As Torah life and the light of Chasidus face challenges that no one has ever faced before,
motivating these children is key to the growth and strength of the Jewish people.
The Talmud in Eruvin (54b) relays the fascinating story of Rabi Preida. This Amora (from Eretz Yisroel, hence the term “Rabi”) would teach one student 400 times before the latter would comprehend the lesson. One day, Rabi Preida was called to engage in a communal matter, but continued to teach his student. On this day the student didn’t grasp the lesson even after 400 times. When Rabi Preida asked what had prevented the student from understanding the lesson this day, the student answered, “from the moment that Mar had been asked to engage in a mitzvah, I could not concentrate, thinking now my teacher will get up.” Rabi Preida had the student give his attention and again taught him another 400 times. At this point, a Heavenly voice went out asking Rabi Preida if he’d prefer 400 years to be added to his life or if he’d rather be guaranteed to enter Gan Eden (heaven) along with his entire generation. When he chose heaven for his generation, Hashem decreed that he should be given both of these great blessings. Such is the crucial importance of teaching each and every child.
Parents are thrilled with Chok L’Yisroel and see the difference that this yeshiva is making in their sons. Some have used the word “lifesaving” to describe its unique focus on what works for each child. Testimonials range from parents who have tremendously gifted children to those who were struggling.
Mrs. Dvora Barak says “Our son has grown more then we ever imagined and truly excels at learning and in devotion to Hashem. Rabbi Moss teaches with passion, enthusiasm and love. It’s very hard not to truly internalize his teachings, as they go straight to the heart.”
Mrs. Rivky Hafter states how her son has also grown tremendously, “in an atmosphere that is fun, exciting and challenging and with a diverse program that is simply unavailable anywhere else.”
Hillel and Hindy M. relay how in a few short weeks at Chok L’Yisroel, their child went from a student who would not sit still in any cheder, to one who loved cheder and was excited to go every morning, for the first time ever.
Avraham Chaim Moses states, “Chok L’Yisroel does a phenomenal job in guiding and paving the way for kinderlach to receive the quality chinuch that the Rebbe insisted upon. Rabbi Moss works very hard to instill Jewish values and pride in each child, while challenging and preparing the children for the future.”
There is no greater or more worthy task than that of transmitting our Holy Torah to the next generation. It is what makes us Jews and it is our eternal covenant with Hashem. There is also no greater obligation.
The Talmud, as a prelude to the story of Rabi Preida, points out the obligation to teach students so well that they can repeat it to others. This obligation is learned directly from how Moshe Rabbeinu taught the Bnai Yisroel.
We do not need to go as far back as the Talmud to see the true importance of giving each child a real chinuch. Only a generation ago, the greatest of scholarly chasidim risked their lives under the nose of the dreaded KGB – yemach shmom, just in order to teach a child the Aleph Bais. Indeed, many were killed for having performed this holy task.
In this generation, we are blessed with the ability to teach Torah in a way that adds length of days. Yet the struggle to retain the hearts of today’s children and to raise them as dedicated Chasidim and Chayolim is harder than ever. To do this, all we have to do is dedicate ourselves to training each child in the unique and personalized way that works for them. This is the mission of Chok L’Yisroel.
Chok L’Yisroel is accepting new registrations of boys ages 6-13. To contact the school and look into this lifechanging method of chinuch, please call (917) 830-3364 or email [email protected]