March 18, 2004
For the Kids
We leaped into leap month and we marched into March, and now we are springing into spring! This Shabbat is called Shabbat Hachodesh -- the "Shabbat of the Month," because we are entering the new month of Nisan. So why does this month deserve its own Shabbat? Because the Torah tells us to make this month the first month of the Jewish year.
Q: What happened to the Israelites in the month of Nisan?
(Hint: It has to do with Egypt.)
Congratulations to Deborah Krieger, 9, of Beverlywood, for winning the Favorite Teacher Essay Contest. Her class wins an ice-cream party.
My Favorite Teacher -- Dov Gottesfeld
Last year, on the first day of third grade in Sunday school at Temple Isaiah, I thought I knew what to expect. I expected the same boring stories, a boring teacher that never made anything sound interesting, and no new topics to learn about. What I didn't expect was Dov. I had walked into class thinking, "Oh, man, Deborah, prepare to be bored out of your mind." After the parents all had left, it was just Dov and us. We said our names, as usual, and then Dov amazed me. He told us about the history of handshaking, telling us in a fascinating way about how people switched from shoulder shaking to wrist shaking to finally handshaking. All the while, I was thinking, wow Deborah, you've got a really good teacher to spend the year with.
Since then, Dov has always been my favorite teacher. He always taught about things I never would have learned about otherwise. For example, he told us about the history of the letter A. He said that ancient people used an upside-down A to make the sign for an ox. Then the Greeks came and turned the A sideways and called it Alpha. After that, the Romans turned Alpha right side up and called it A.
Dov has been teaching all his life, starting when he was 8. (That's when he stared tutoring.) He was also an actor/director before he taught full time. Dov wanted to become a teacher because he just loves teaching.
He thinks charity is important to every person because some people need clothes, books, toys and food. People who have these things can help the people in need. Dov inspired me to give to charity.
When he's not teaching, he's a father to his daughter, and writes screenplays, Jewish plays and musicals. His hobbies are carpentry and cooking. He could even build a house! (I asked him personally.) His favorite part of teaching is when he sees the kids understand what he's teaching. He gets a lot of pleasure from that.