EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN
"THE ONLY LIFE-SAVER"
(from the Writings of Sarah Shnirer)
Women and daughters of Israel, go out and see (tzena ur'ena)! For
thousands of generations our people have lived with the Torah. Millions
of men and women, spiritual giants and women of valor, have drawn their
emotions, concepts and outlooks on life from this faith of fire. The
national treasure for which we have labored and strived all these
generations has been the study of Torah.
The purpose of the Bet Ya'akov school system has been to assure
fulfillment of the Torah among women, and to inspire our daughters'
spirits with it. This goal cannot be accomplished by merely erecting
beautiful school buildings and large libraries. It can only be done if
Israel is studying the Torah, spreading the waters of the wellspring
wider and wider, and inspiring the hearts. Only then can the Torah
remain engraved as the way of life. And this can only be done, in my
opinion, through true, Jewish schooling for our daughters who are
faithful to the Jewish people and their tradition.
I used to travel far and wide, from city to city and town to town,
crying at the top of my voice, "Jews, How long will you sit
complacently with folded hands while your houses are being destroyed?
How can you bear to see your daughters sitting at the shabbos-table
reading books of goyim and dressed immodestly?
"Mothers of Israel, how long can you be unperturbed watching your
daughters stray farther and farther away from you, day by day? And are
you, yourselves, not being carried away by the same ugly trend?"
Schools for girls which are faithful to the Torah and our tradition, in
which our daughters can receive an authentic Jewish education while
they are still young girls -- these are the only life-savers!
I know that in the present circumstances of our times, it is very
difficult to create these schools.... Nevertheless, with strong and
courageous will-power we can overcome all the obstacles.
Awake, my sisters, in these critical, historical times, prove what it
is that you really want, and rightly so, for the sake of this exalted
purpose: to educate the daughters of Israel to serve G-d, to fulfill
the statutes and the mitzvot with dedication and inspiration, with all
their might and all their soul, until their last breath.
They are the daughters of a nation whose existence and foundation is
not based on their Land only, as other nations who are bound only to
their land. But the way of these nations is not the way of the House of
Israel whose existence is based on the exalted idea of the Holy Torah.
Only through it, and because of it, are we a nation.