« The sins of the fathers... | Main | The concession call »

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Photo Friday (Vol. XIV) [Respect Repositories]

Not that there aren't still some very compelling photo requests still outstanding... but this week I'm going to invoke the well-known 'It's my ball so we'll play by my rules' rule and do something a little different.

Yesterday, while Zahava and I were waiting outside the Principal's office for our 'team meeting' to begin (let me tell you, I've logged some serious time outside of Principal's offices in my day) I noticed three seemingly unrelated 'repositories' and for no particular reason these three things suggested an interesting pattern to me.

The three 'repositories' were:

1.  A 'Geniza' - Which literally means 'A hiding place', but is actually a place where anything of religious significance that is no longer suitable for use is placed.  Old prayer books, discarded pages with G-d's name written on them, invalid mezzuzas, etc., are the kinds of things one would place in a Geniza.  Most religious schools and synagogues have a Geniza, and periodically the contents are taken out and buried in a designated spot in a Jewish cemetery.  Long-lost rulings of Jewish law and historically-significant documents have been unearthed when ancient Genizas have been discovered... with the Cairo Geniza being arguably the most famous.

2.  'Pniyat Talmidim L'Minahelet' - Which roughly translates as 'turning to/referring to the principal by the students.  This is a simple wooden box for students to leave private (even anonymous) messages for the Principal. I really like the idea that the students have this direct line of communication.

3.  'Solelot M'shumashot' (Used Battery Receptacle) - The most mundane of the three, but ironically the one that made me start thinking about the possible connection between all of these repositories. 

You see, all three were within a few feet of one another... each was designed to receive something specific... and each, in its own way, was designed to offer a measure of respect. 

The Geniza is designed to show the utmost respect to religious items that have outlived their practical usefulness.  Its presence at the school is a valuable lesson to the children about the difference between respectfully putting something aside and thoughtlessly discarding it.

The note box for students to communicate with their principal is a valuable tool which shows that the principal respects the student's thoughts and desires... and also that the students might be a bit awed by the principal (and would benefit from a respectful distance in their direct communications).

The used battery drop-off (and it's close proximity to the other two repositories) is a clear sign that the school and it's students respect the environment and believe that the end of something's useful life does not end our responsibility to it (or the world around us).

Patterns exist in everyday life, yet we rarely notice them.  This pattern seemed especially relevant to me and reinforced many of the things I love about the education my children are receiving here in Israel.

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by David Bogner on February 10, 2005 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Photo Friday (Vol. XIV) [Respect Repositories]:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have always believed that respect is the greatest lesson I could teach my children. If you respect yourself, and others, and your(and their) beliefs - then all else will fall into place (with some wiggle room for playful mischief).

Posted by: lisa | Feb 11, 2005 2:33:44 PM

I wonder if the school administration saw the connection between their receptacles of respect.

Some containers are obviously only for convenience, like a grocery bag or a pin cushion. I tried to think of other containers for respect, places where we put certain things because to put them elsewhere would be disrespectful.

The Judge’s bench. He could sit anywhere but we elevate his seat and call him "your honor".
And of course, the most sacred of containers, the taco shell.

Shavua tov.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 11, 2005 7:25:26 PM

How about the Torah Ark, Doc?

Posted by: Ulricii | Feb 11, 2005 8:26:56 PM

Oh, yeah. That too.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 11, 2005 8:56:39 PM

Mmmmmm........ tacos.

Posted by: ball-and-chain | Feb 11, 2005 11:02:54 PM

places where we put certain things because to put them elsewhere would be disrespectful.

*a kinder garten tent at the mall for our beloved husbands when we're doing shopping spree therapy?*

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Feb 13, 2005 1:57:04 PM

Lisa... "with some wiggle room for playful mischief

Ah, always with the caveat. :-)

Doctor Bean... I doubt the school intended to suggest the pattern by placing these three things in close proximity to one another, but I think that respect is an overriding principle in the education.

Ulricii ... That's a given.

Ball & Chain... [snaps fingers] Um, we're over here now dear... hungry?

mademoiselle a. ... If there were a comfortable chair, a stack of good magazines and a cooler of beer in some centrally located area of the mall, that would be the most respectful gift that any man could hope to receive. :-)

Posted by: David | Feb 13, 2005 2:09:48 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.