Those of you lucky enough to be a student of Rabbi Kurland in Sh’or Yoshuv yeshivah will know exactly what I’m referring to when I say that Rabbi Kurland’s style is one of a kind. It’s not just the humor he injects into every lesson—which, by the way, there’s a lot of. (There’s a reason why his book is called A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen!) It’s also his amazing knack of being able to teach fundamental concepts in a down-to-earth, concrete way that you’ll find both inspirational and enjoyable. Each gem of an article in this book begins with a good joke, which then leads into a powerful essay that connects pesukim, midrashim, and Gemaras from all over, in a breathtaking display of Rabbi Kurland’s unique manner of teaching.
Ready for a laugh? Want some inspiration? Go ahead; it’s all yours—A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen.
Here’s a sample…
The Hebrew school teacher was projecting her own heretical views, when she asked her class if they really believed that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and survived. Little Sarah, unabashed, was brave enough to respond:
“Yes! I believe every word of it!”
“Well, how will you prove that it is true?” the dissident teacher asked.
Sarah, not hesitating for a moment, answered, “When I get to Heaven, I’m going to ask Jonah myself!”
“But how do you know that Jonah is in Heaven?” asked the teacher. “Maybe he’s in the other place.”
Sarah didn’t flinch. “Then you ask him!”
Children are bright, resourceful, and quite perceptive, very often putting us adults to shame. One thing is for sure: Any parent or teacher who thinks for a moment that he is “merely dealing with a child” underestimates and misunderstands the “absorbent sponge” and pure-minded phenomenon that stands before him. Everything we do and say will be soaked up by this precious child, either through his unusual sharp senses, or through the process of osmosis. We adults must always be on our best behavior, lest our children’s lasting impressions of us come back to haunt us one day! Read more…