Imagine you were invited to an inauguration ceremony. A new shul, school or even just a friend’s housewarming. The invitation will call it a “Chanukas HaBayis” or similar.
When the Mishkan was inaugurated in the Midbar, we refer to it as the Chanukas HaMishkan.
And, of course, there is Chanuka – the festival that is upon us, where we commemorate the defeat of the mighty Greek army by a small band of faithful Jews and the re-dedication of the Beis HaMikdash.
All of these terms are based on the word “chinuch” meaning to dedicate or inaugurate.
Interestingly, here at Hasmonean, not only do we carry the name of this small band of faithful Jews, but our very raison d’être is chinuch – education. The same word. What is the connection between inaugurating a new building and education?
Rabbi Malcolm Herman, in his wonderful book “Everyday Parenting for Everyday Parents,” gives an insightful answer.
An inauguration ceremony marks when a building has been brought to the point where it is ready for the purpose for which it has been constructed. To inaugurate a building means to develop it to the point where it is completely ready and able to fulfil its designated purpose.
That is exactly what chinuch is. To raise a child so that it is completely ready and able to fulfil the lifelong purpose for which they were created.
That is really our goal at Hasmonean: to help each child achieve their potential. To make sure they are proud, practising and passionate Jews where Torah is central to their lives and, at the same time, are equipped to make their way in this world and contribute to the society in which they live.
I would like to take the opportunity of thanking the HIPE teams for the extraordinary efforts in making Chanuka so special in school. All students are enjoying a range of formal and informal Chanuka programmes; I am enormously grateful to all the HIPE educators, the Kodesh department, the site team and all members of staff for making this happen.
I hope that HIPE’s remit – to inject excitement and passion for Yiddishkeit in the corridors of Hasmonean and supplement the formal kodesh provision – bear much fruit and help us achieve our goal to give outstanding chinuch to every child, so that in time they will be ready and able to fulfil the lifelong purpose for which they were created.
With warm Chanuka wishes,
Rabbi J Golker