When the student is ready

(Yoga class at synagogue)

I have always liked these two teachings:

“Make a teacher for yourself and acquire for yourself a companion.”
Pirkei Avot/The Ethics of our Fathers 1:6

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Zen proverb

Haven’t you notice that once you become interested in something new – a word, an author, a constellation you never saw before – suddenly it’s everywhere and everyone is telling you something about it? Then, if you are really stimulated to learn more, you soon stumble upon a teacher. Recently a friend sent me one of those emails that is intended to unearth things you’ve never talked about before – from the light-hearted, “What’s your favorite food?” to the serious, “What do you want to do before you die?” Surprisingly I knew instantly what I wanted to do. I want to be as good a person as I believe I am able to be. As soon as I told myself this, I began to find instructions all around me. And, yes, a couple of teachers appeared. They were there before, but it was rather like running my cursor over them and they lit up. Fine, I have teachers, I have books and articles. But what is the core thing I must do? Commit time. The rabbis teach that we should set aside time each day to study Torah. So the real question for me is, when will those ten minutes of Torah be? I tuck them in here and there. But I enjoy them most when I learn with others. I’m not talking about a mindbogglingly hard class. Let me give you some examples –
Many Jewish organizations send out emails and/or have great websites.
Like Ten Minutes of Torah from the Reform movement
Aish has extensive explanations of the Torah Portions and more.
My Jewish Learning has a great website and a newsletter.

You can subscribe to any and all of the newsletters and emails of your local synagogues, I do. Just call me and we’ll figure out who is near you.

You can take a Lehrhaus class and there you’ll meet teachers and fellow students. I’m a social personality and I love the input and camaraderie of a classroom setting. But if you are not, then find a tutor, there are lots of them in the bay area.