A popular misconception among many Jewish people is the notion that education is only for children. One of the unique elements that distinguish Judaism from the world’s religions is the stress on education and learning for adults.
While the clergy of all religions are educated and learned in the texts and traditions of their respective faiths, a great emphasis in Judaism is placed on education for the layperson as part of their Jewish journey.
A non-Jewish writer visiting Warsaw in the early part of the 20th century was amazed to observe adult Jews of all types and professions and levels of knowledge attending study classes at the end of the workday.
In our congregation beyond formal and informal learning sessions, study takes place at every worship service. This is in keeping with a statement of a medieval monk, popularized by the late Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, “when we pray, we speak to God; when we study, God speaks to us.”
Since study is a part of worship, its presence is found as an integral part of our Shabbat worship service. This leaves all who attend not only inspired but also informed and enlightened as well.