Shavua Tov: The Art of Waiting Patiently

Gann Academy students and teachers engage in character development as part of our Mussar program. Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice based on the idea of cultivating inner virtues as a way to live an ethical and meaningful life. One of the key virtues in Mussar practice is savlanut (patience). In this age of multitasking, texting, and online shopping, we aren’t used to being patient. Instant gratification is the norm. If we need to make a decision, we have plenty of information at our fingertips.

These past few weeks have forced us to practice the art of savlanut. We are all wondering how the new Coronavirus, COVID-19, will impact the future. At Gann, our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our students, families, and employees. Like many institutions, we have spent the past few weeks waiting patiently for more information. Our first instinct is to protect our children yet, at the same time, we also don’t want to act rashly. Patience and waiting in the face of danger can be so hard. 
 
Our Jewish tradition gives us much-needed guidance on the art of patience. In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, the people of Israel wait for forty days and forty nights for Moshe to come down the mountain with the Torah. Imagine, after the traumatic experience of fleeing Egypt, waiting such a long time for their new leader to return! The people of Israel understandably grow scared, impatient, and concerned. 
 
As we wait, watch, listen, for more information, may we all practice the art of savlanut, planning carefully, and watching carefully, to make the safest decisions for our children and for our community in the face of the unknown. 
 
Shavua Tov! 
 
Dr. Dalia Hochman
Head of School
 
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