top of page
  • Writer's pictureRabbi David Paskin

Not Wisdom but Wonder

There is very little I remember from high school. I'm sure that I retained some of what I learned in some deep, dark, hidden part of my brain but I would have a very hard time sharing that knowledge with you. I grew up in schools where children sat in desks, in rows and were spoken to. Our teachers fed us knowledge and then asked us to regurgitate it during tests.

In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Mishpatim, God convened God's class of Israelites to teach them the Torah. God gave us the "textbook", Moses read the book of the Covenant to all the people of Israel and when “class” was about over, the Israelites raised their hands and said, na’ase v’nishma, “we will do it and we will understand it.”

On the surface, the organization of this verse is a bit strange. One would think that, we would first “hear” or “understand” the laws and then “observe” or “keep” them. But here we see that the Israelites are doing the opposite. They say, "we will observing them first, and only then come to understand them."

The Israelites, in saying na’ase v’nishma, recognized that to really understand the significance, meaning and beauty of any teaching – they had to get their hands dirty and experience it.

That's how we all learn best - by doing. That's why we put such an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning at Gan Sinai. We know that, not only will your children learn more by doing - but they will also learn more deeply by doing.

Edgar Dale, an American educator who created the learning pyramid taught us that, "We remember 10% of what we read; 20% of what we hear; 30% of what we see; 50% of what we see and hear; 70% of what we discuss with others; 80% of what we personally experience; and 95% or what we teach others.

At our best, we help our children personally experience much of what we teach and then empower them to share what they know with others. As educators, our job is not to fill your children's minds with wisdom - but with wonder.


  • No school tomorrow, Friday, February 12 or Monday, February 15

  • Friday, February 19 is Ms. Shirley's PK2 Family Shabbat on Zoom!

  • March hot lunch sign up is available now at You can now order hot lunch everyday, or just on Fridays for the rest of the year!

  • Spring Camp registration is now open. Learn more and sign up at

  • Registration for Camp Sinai opens Monday, February 1st at!

  • Don't forget to enroll for next year at

Get all the latest info and links at

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page