Monday, March 18, 2013

mitoch shelo lishma ba lishma II

I asked the question here about the issue of "mitoch shelo lishma, ba lishma" (start off doing it not for its own sake, to ultimately lead to doing it for its own sake) and how it is in conflict with unschooling.  In unschooling, there isn't much encouragement to do things not for their own sake.  All intellectual exploration emerges from an interest in the subject for its own sake.

In Judaic studies, that's a risk.  If my child doesn't want to learn math, so you figure when math becomes relevant, she will acquire it easily.  And if it's never relevant to her, then she'll work around it.  There is so much to learn and explore in life, and being passionate about it and excited and capable of exploring it is the bedrock of unschooling.  But I don't have such sangfroid about Torah.  Passing on the ideals, principles, halachos, knowledge and system of Torah is very important to me.  V'Shinantam L'Vanecha.  An expression of how much I value the Torah is displayed by my passing it on to my children.

Before I go further, let me firmly state that I think Chazal are expressing a truth with their statement.  Although I may be questioning it when looking at it with respect to unschooling, that doesn't mean that I discount these words and their wisdom.  Many times in my personal growth and development and learning, I have thought deeply about this statement and it has given me great insight.

The question I ask here is: is it necessary for me to get my children involved in Torah, or is it a viable chinuch option for me to wait until they are naturally drawn to it, and to respond at that point?

But, to risk being like Queen Esther, I'll share my thoughts in the next post.  Come to the party in the next post and מחר אעשה כדבר המלך.

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