The language of love in Jewish education

In the spirit of last year’s “Song of the Week”, I wanted to share some reflections on an all-time favorite Israeli song and the important educational message it provides.

Abanibi, pig-latin (or treif latin) for Ani ( each syllable of the word is repeated with a bet replacing the consonant) is a song that takes the hebrew phrase Ani Ohev Otach (I love you) and transforms it to Abanibi Obohebev obotabach. Winner of the 1978 Eurovision Contest, the song highlights the way that children relate to love. For our purposes we can listen to the song as a model for how we can understand love as teachers, parents, administrators and supporters.  The words  are as follows:

I love, I love you**
I love, I love you**

When we were children,
we never spoke of love (except secretly)
To whom were we “nice”?
Only to uncles and aunts.

And the poor girls suffered,
the sweet ones only were hit.
And what we truly felt,
we whispered only in “B-language”
[“baby talk”}

Love, it is a beautiful word
A beautiful prayer, a language
Love, it is good to me
It will overcome all
And we will speak the language of love.

I dream, and three words appear
And what is the world? Only three words
And this is how I feel now
Truly just as then –“B-language”

We must recognize that many times, our students are often speaking in another language- they want to express themselves and it’s up to us to support them and to decipher what they are looking for.  There is love and appreciation there – we just have to find it.  On the other hand, as supporters of education, our love must ALWAYS be clear. We cannot imply love and support, we have to show it in everything we do: love of all of our schools, our students, our teachers.  In expressing this greatest form of appreciation, we empower students and teachers alike, letting them clearly know that they have the support to do amazing things.

This d’rash was shared at the opening Galinsky Education Cabinet meeting, June 2012

Posted on June 5, 2012, in Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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