The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 10 November 2012 / 24 Heshvan 5773

A Great Teacher

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, and the superior teacher demonstrates."

This grading of teachers made by William Arthur Ward came to mind upon hearing what Rabbi Dovid Weinberger did for his class of senior citizens at Jerusalems Ohr Somayach while studying the Torah law forbidding the consumption of animal fat known as cheilev. In all of his many years as an educator, Reb Dovid never had such a group of students who insisted on being shown exactly which is the forbidden fat and which the permitted one.

What did Reb Dovid do? In the presence of the students, he got on the phone to the renowned Jerusalem butcher, Reb Alter Hacker, and began asking him how to answer his students questions. "Send one of them over to me right away," came the answer. In less than a quarter of an hour one of the older men came into the classroom clutching genuine cheilev in one hand, and the permitted shuman in the other.

Thus Rabbi Weinberger, who serves as the Ohr Somayach Student Registrar in addition to his teaching role, proved himself a superior teacher by demonstrating what he taught, and a truly great teacher by inspiring his students and his colleagues with a love for learning and teaching.

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