Olami Resources is happy to present a series of free installments featuring Rabbi Dr. Yosef Lynn’s and Rabbi Jack Cohen’s important new book, Nurture Their Nature. Rabbi Lynn serves as Mashgiach at Machon Yaakov, Jerusalem and Rabbi Cohen is Director of Education for OLAMI, North America. The sefer is predominantly a synthesis of Rabbi Beryl Gershenfeld’s Torah on individuality and self-esteem in Jewish education.
HaRav Aharon Feldman strongly endorsed the sefer: “Based on a breathtaking array of writings by Jewish sages, from Talmudic times until our own age, with startling insights into their teachings, the book presents a case for self-knowledge as the key to reaching each individual’s potential…. Anyone from a beginner to a developed scholar will benefit from reading this book.”
This week we are featuring the sefer’s Introduction. Over the next several weeks, we will publish additional chapters. Our sincere thanks to the authors for sharing their publication with the rabbis and educators subscribed to OlamiResources.com. Purchase a copy of Nurture Their Nature here.
The Torah is the guide map for life. It shows me not only how to live my life but how to make the most of my life. This map, however, is useful only to the degree to which I know myself and appreciate my self-worth. Knowing myself enables me to navigate the roads of life with confidence, arrive at all of my desired destinations, and avoid getting lost with no GPS signal.
People today talk a lot about the need to “find themselves,” “discover their voice,” and “carve out their own paths.” In order for us, parents and teachers, to raise happy, resilient, and confident Jewish adults, we have to appreciate that these are much more than cultural fads and New Age slogans. They are vocalizing the deepest desire we have as human beings: to lead the life that we were each uniquely born to lead. To whatever degree people do not find their paths within Torah, either their personalities become suppressed or they look to express their individualities elsewhere. We must therefore guide our children and students in knowing themselves and finding themselves in Klal Yisrael, in addition to guiding them generally in the landscape of life. In short, we must help them recognize and celebrate their gifts and teach them how to nurture their natures.
It is for this reason that Hashem orchestrated the events leading up to the receiving of the Torah — so that all Jews would know their place within the Jewish People, and the Jewish People’s place within humanity. Once we know our place, we are able to be guided by the Torah to help us find our way.