A question I received: What is the Light that Reforms in education for children?
My Answer: The Light that Reforms is an Upper force, the force of wisdom that comes from the teacher and influences the student who then asks, “What is it?”
The Light that reforms is an effect of the Upper degree on the lower, an influence with force and status, not knowledge. When the lower one equalizes his qualities with those of the Upper one, he reveals what is in the Upper one. Therefore, a true upbringing consists of constantly supplying the children with situations to tackle. Through discussion, problem solving, and overcoming obstacles in their own way to solutions, they eventually attain the knowledge on their own.
It turns out, that the truest form of teaching is through discussion. Ancient schools used precisely that method. Rabbi Akiva sat under a tree surrounded by his students where together they discussed various topics.
Other nations as well used to establish a special place where people would come to discuss various matters. They came and left freely, listened to others and expressed their opinions. Thanks to discussions and the free exchange of opinions, a person was included in the society. This form of education was characteristic of many cultures, even the word “school,” translated from the ancient Greek, means “leisure” – time well spent.
Herein lies the essence of a school: a person goes there to partake of the pleasant atmosphere, beneficial for his/her development. Instead, we stuff dry knowledge into the kids’ heads, clogging them to their detriment. They can’t stand such education. Firstly, a person doesn’t study his own self, rather he is like a robot being stuffed with data. Secondly, he’s not shaped into a ‘Human.’ That, according to Aristotle and Plato, brings great harm.
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TV Program: Ask the Kabbalist (September 11, 2008)