Learn the words in Hebrew to figure out the joke below:
Employer - מַעֲבִיד
Bad - רַע
But - אֲבָל
He is fair - צוֹדֵק
What do you mean - מָה כַּוָּנָתְךָ
For everyone - לְכֻלָּם
Jack asked his friend: Is it true that your boss is a bad employer?
His friend replied. Yes. he is bad but he doesn’t play favorites. “What do you mean?” asked Jack? His friend replied, “He is bad for everyone!”
One of the students treated the school’s equipment with disrespect. When I asked him if it was right to do so, he replied with justification that another friend did it as well. “How does the fact that another student mistreated the equipment make it right for you to do the same?” I replied. Left without a rationale, he pivoted to another excus, and said, “But nobody told my friend that it was not ok!” His righteous indignation for being singled out “justified” his own misbehavior. I was left with the simple and profound age-old lesson that my parents used to educate me as a child. So, I mustered up a straight face to ask him, “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you? Just because your friend did something wrong does not make it right for you. Or, as my Mom said, ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right.’” The look on his face told me he has heard this idea before.
I asked my student if he had heard of the message ‘“Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” “Do you think that it is advice or a warning?” I He shrugged his shoulders as only a teenage student can when he thinks he is about to get more homework, and replied uncertainty with, “Is this a multiple choice question?” I smiled at my student and responded, “Yes, all of the above. It is both advice and a warning.
“You can choose to lead. Leadership is not easy. If it was then everyone would be a leader. Every situation that you face requires a decision to see things as they are or to imagine that it can be different. Ask yourself how would you would like things to be, how do you think this situation should be. It takes some courage and strength to take a moment recognize that you have an opportunity to make a decision that can make a difference. You can go with the flow and follow the crowd or you can process what you see and then filter it through your own experience and upbringing. You might ask yourself what would your parents do. Your parents instilled a sense of values that provide a compass. Listen to your inner voice; it will guide you.
My student asked, “What about option C?” “That’s the warning,” I replied. If you just stand still, then you are likely to get runover by those trying to lead. If you choose to lead and set an example for others, then the quality of your life and your world will be that much better. Anyone can be a follower. I just think it will be more fun for you to lead.
“Let’s look at the equipment on the floor. What do you think will happen to it?” My student looked up a little sheepishly and said that it would probably get broken or lost. “And then what?” I asked. “Then we would not have it to use,” he replied. And then what? More shrugged shoulders. So, I continued, “The school may decide that it needs to replace the equipment, which will cost the school time and money. Where does the school get money to replace equipment and pay for extra expenses?” “Tuition? “And what can happen to tuition with lots of extra expenses? “It goes up? “Yes,” I replied. “So what do you want to do about all that equipment?” He looked at me and said, “I guess I should put back where it belongs”.
“See that, Morah Maya,” my student said with a grin, “I am a leader already!”
HEBREW TUTORING: For individual, family or group tutoring, all levels, please email [email protected] Maya Yehezkel is a Hebrew teacher at Yeshivat Noam middle school.
By Maya Yehezkel