Ode to the graduating seniors

Graduation1.jpgAs the graduating class of 2012 finishes up the last of their work and  prepares to walk to Franklin Field (with a little ‘senior week’ in between), the message of the Torah portion strikes me as apropos.

The Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, stated that ‘you have to live with the times’. He wasn’t referring to the social, economic or political climate, rather, he was telling us to look into the weekly Torah portion as it gives us a timely message that is relevant to all times.

Last week, Aron’s sons entered the Holy of Holies and out of unending love for G-d their souls left this world. This week we talk about the ‘aftermath’. We learn from their mistaken actions the need to live in the real world and transform it to positive, as opposed to remain above and removed from it.

Some teach that spirituality is the ultimate and that all things physical are to be shunned. Judaism tells us that the physical has the potential to be transformed into spiritual and that the purpose of mankind is to accomplish just that.

As students prepare to graduate, they’ll hear numerous times of the need to ‘get ready for the real world’. Those who are moving straight onto Grad' school happily push this off, but those hoping to enter the work force immediately will be grappling with what that means for them practically.

The cocoon of Penn is warm and supportive, particularly the Jewish community which provides so many opportunities of engagement. However, at some point all butterflies must break free and fend for themselves.

As Jews it is our job to imbue our surroundings with positivity and spirituality. We have to grow as Jews and continue our Jewish education; we should display Jewish pride and share that with those around us because when we do we are actually fulfilling our purpose by bringing light into the world.

We wish you the best of luck as you move on to the next stage. We have enjoyed getting to know you, being inspired by you, learning with you and celebrating Judaism with you. It is our sincere hope that you’ll find Jewish community wherever you go, for support as well as opportunities for growth.

And of course, we hope you’ll stay in touch and come back to visit:)

Bon voyage (because as the song goes ‘Chassidim don’t say goodbye’)!!


Picture of the week:

senior good bye.jpgAt the senior farewell dinner.

Guest speaker at the event was Prof. Harry Reicher of Penn Law.


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