Friday, April 9, 2010

Teshuvah - Jewish GPS


  • There can never be a simple answer to complex problems.
  • If you have only one answer, you can only understand a question in one way.

David Brooks' column today, The Humble Hound is about leadership.  It is also about a very Jewish model of living - and particularly, about teshuvah.
[the 'humble hound' leader] believes we only progress through a series of regulated errors. Every move is a partial failure, to be corrected by the next one. Even walking involves shifting your weight off-balance and then compensating with the next step.
[The leader] knows the world is too complex and irregular to be known, so life is about navigating uncertainty. She understands she is too quick to grasp at pseudo-objective models and confident projections that give the illusion of control.
 There is a wonderful video called "Making the Most of Making Mistakes" that illustrates the same idea for upper elementary students.  I would urge you to try to locate it and use it with your students.  There is a wonderful segment in which the narrator describes the flight path a plane takes on a long trip - it is never exactly aimed toward the target, but continuously self-corrects in order to arrive at the correct destination.

  • This is a powerful and clear explanation of teshuvah.
  • Life is complex.
  • Judaism understands that no one is perfect.
  • Jewish tradition provides a valuable path for self-regulation and correction.
  • Jewish values can be a GPS that constantly re-calculates your direction based on the relationship between where you are and where you want to be.

I suggest you file this with your resources

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