One might argue that the central theme of the Torah is education, as the word תּוֹרָה (toh-RAH) itself means, essentially, instruction. In the Torah portion to be read this Shabbat by Jews around the world, the topic shows up implicitly in the case of the wayward, defiant son – a בֵּן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה (ben soh-REHR oo-moh-REH) who, had he received the right education (and upbringing), would not behave the way he does.
There’s to teach – לְלַמֵּד (leh-lah-MED), the act of giving over specific lessons, and then there’s to educate – לְחַנֵּךְ (leh-khah-NEKH), a more comprehensive act of priming someone for life. לחנך is an active-intensive פִּעֵל verb.
הֵם חִנְּכוּ אֶת הַיְּלָדִים שֶׁלָּהֵם לְנֶאֱמָנוּת וְכָבוֹד לַזּוּלַת.
They educated their children with (toward) loyalty and respect for others (the other).
The word’s root, ח.נ.כ (kh.n.k), means inauguration – launching something or someone for a task or function. In Biblical Hebrew, the word appears in the active-simple פָּעַל form, usually describing the inauguration of a building or home, but occasionally describing education, as in the well-known verse, מִשְׁלֵי כב:ו – Proverbs 22:6 (meesh-LEH-ee kahf bet:vahv):
חֲנֹךְ לַנַּעַר עַל פִּי דַּרְכּוֹ, גַּם כִּי יַזְקִין לֹא יָסוּר מִמֶּנָּה
Educate the young man according to his way, (and) even when he grows old, he will not veer from it.
Following the פיעל verb pattern, the abstract noun education and name of this noble industry is חִנּוּךְ (khee-NOOKH).
שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם וְסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ נָעִים לְכֻלָּם!
Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!
(shah-BAHT shah-LOHM, veh-SOHF shah-VOO-ah nah-EEM leh-khoo-LAHM)
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