Dr. Deborah Skolnick-Einhorn’s Remarks to the Graduates
July 8, 2022 by
In this week’s parsha – the Israelites get a little kvetchy. Moshe says:
“Alone I cannot carry this entire people, for it is too hard for me . . . “
And G‑d listens.
God responds by appointing/anointing 70 elders to share the load:
“Then they will bear the burden of the people with you so that you need not bear it alone.” וְלֹֽא־תִשָּׂ֥א אַתָּ֖ה לְבַדֶּֽךָ
And that, dear graduates, is what it means to be part of the Jewish people.
Many of your parents discovered this when they chose Milton for your education. They dropped you off at the South Campus and there they began to discover their community of elders, their village, and they leaned on each other (parents and teachers) over these many years – through births and shivas, celebrations and illness, challenging, long day.
Some of us joined later and we, too, were welcomed into the group of elders – though I’m still convinced I only got this job because of the son I was bringing into this class (Tirza, Victoria).
We leaned and were leaned upon.
Part of a community when someone asks you a favor – you don’t know this but when members of families in this class asked for a ride, or mentioned that they could really use a Shabbat invite one week – you made us feel deeply part of something bigger, something meaningful, something important.
So parents and teachers, thank you for being each others’ elders, my elders.
Graduates – You already have that, the community on which to lean. You will never be alone – Milton will always be that for you. But you will also find and build more places to lean and depend. That is our wish for you.
You do not need to bear it – whatever it is – alone. The rest is commentary. Now go and continue to learn . . .