When is the first time the word אהבה (love) appears in the Torah?
The answer is this week’s parsha: קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ אֶת יְחִידְךָ אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ אֶת יִצְחָק. Hashem instructs Avraham to take his son Yitzchak, “whom you love” and offer him up as a sacrifice.
The second time the word אהבה is used in the Torah is in next week’s parsha: וַיִּקַּח אֶת רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ. Yitzchak marries Rivka and “loves her”.
The third time the word אהבה is used in the Torah is in the parsha after that in describing the love of Yitzchak and Rivka for their children:וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת עֵשָׂו … וְרִבְקָה אֹהֶבֶת אֶת יַעֲקֹב.
My brother-in-law Rabbi Jeremy Finn has recently published another wonderful sefer on the Parsha. He cites Rabbi YY Jacobson who makes an insightful and powerful observation.
As Yitzchak had been the recipient of love, he knew how to love others. Since Avraham had shown love to Yitzchak, Yitzchak was able to show love to Rivka and because she received her husband’s love, she, in turn, was able to love her son Yaakov.
The Torah is teaching us that if we want our children to grow up as loving, productive and well-balanced members of society, we need to show them love. Our children will not know how to love unless they have experienced being loved.
This needs effort and needs us to be proactive in our relationships. Showing our children that we love them will not only build them, but will help them in their relationships too.
Wishing you all a wonderful Shabbos.
Rabbi J Golker
As you are aware, we have a number of students who are having to self-isolate at the two schools.
We have been trialling hardware such as graphic tablets, headsets and webcams to help teachers deliver lessons to students isolating at home. Our order of these items has now arrived and we would like to train all teachers in how to use it so that more of them have the facility to livestream their lessons to those who are isolating.
To this end, we would like to close the schools to students at 2.45 pm on Tuesday next week so that staff can be trained period 7/8 before the Year 11 boys’ parents’ evening. It will mean that most students miss one lesson as there are very few period 8 lessons on that day.
We are confident that the net impact on education will be positive as the training will enable more teachers to be ready and able to livestream lessons.
We are expecting the Chromebooks which parents have ordered to arrive in November. We make regular enquiries about a delivery date but have not yet received one. When we have, we will update you accordingly.
With sincere thanks in anticipation of your understanding in this matter.
Mr A McClusky
CEO, Hasmonean MAT