[1]

All Jewish education is — or should be — spiritual education.

“Spiritual education”: one should come to know the reality of G-d’s Presence, Goodness and Justice; should live life with greater inner happiness and peace (at least) as a result of it.

“What is spiritual education? Education which invites, allows, and enables me to walk the path of living in the Image of G-d.” [2]

History, halachah, culture, customs — all are tools for revealing G-d Who is Here, Now.

Jewish education is an outward form for developing an expanded view of life, in which “matter” is part of “Spirit.”

Matter is an expression of Spirit. They’re not two different things.

We’re never separate from Spirit. We’re never separate from G-d.

Jewish “education” is a necessary preparation for participating in Jewish life, but mere abstract knowledge of Jewish “culture,” Jewish “identity,” “Jewish history,” etc., is only as useful as it serves a spiritual purpose. The purpose is: Know G-d’s Oneness, and our union with it.

“Judaism is not about acquiring content, conveying content, or knowing more and more. It’s not about information – it’s about transformation. It’s about becoming. It’s about using the information to evoke a better kinder, holier me. It’s about removing the obstacles that hinder my soul from emerging.” [3]

Children are frustrated and bored by talk of G-d without the Presence of G-d.

Every heart knows that it’s seeking, if not what it’s seeking.

In G-d’s Presence, we find the peace we seek.

When even once true Divine peace bursts forth, whether during praying or learning or some other way of worshiping, the heart knows that its search has not been an unwise one, despite incessant indictment by the intellect and senses.

The Beauty of G-d can make the greatest architecture seem like so much grimy noise, but can as easily make lifeless matter seem to dance with utter grace.

The Joy of G-d cleanses; quieting the mind and heart.

The Silence of G-d dispels all doubts.

[אכן יש היי במקום הזה ואנוכי לא ידעתי] — “Surely G-d is in this place, and I didn’t know it.” [4]

Entering G-d’s Presence, we see that we’re never in the presence of anything other than G-d.

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[1] c. 2011 by Rabbi Eli Mallon; original photo: “Cheder in Meron, 1912” (public domain);   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_education (modified for use with this post)
[2] Rabbi Aryeh ben David;  http://www.ayeka.org.il;  “Our Approach”
[3] ibid.
[4] Bereishith/Gen.  28:16