June 5, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Learn the words in Hebrew to figure out the joke below:

He promised – הִבְטִיחַ

If you will cut – אִם תְּכַסֵּחַ

Grass – דֶּשֶׁא

If not – בְּאִם לֹא

Tell me – אֱמֹר לִי

Solution:

Moti met Danny when he was cutting the grass. Danny asked Moti, “Did your dad promise you a reward for this work?” Moti replied that his father promised him a reward if he didn’t (a polite way to say punishment).

Teacher’s Corner: One of the students I tutor often asked to be rewarded when he did very well for his review. I like to reward my students with cookies or other treats to reinforce good behavior and attitude rather than for specific test results or grades.

I explained to him that being rewarded for a specific test would condition him to only study when an immediate reward would be forthcoming, and that is not how life works.

My student replied that he has already been conditioned, so I should reward him—and he would be happy to take the risk.

You were rewarded: You studied, put in the effort and successfully learned the material. You should feel proud of yourself. And you are conditioning yourself to have a successful trait of studying lishma, for its own purpose.

You also are developing the trait of delayed gratification. Research shows this trait is correlated with greater success in life. That is a reward for life! My student replied, “Yeah, but if I study lishma, can I still have the cookies?”


Maya Yehezkel is a Hebrew teacher at Yeshivat Noam middle school. For private tutoring, all levels, email [email protected]

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