Ometz Lev – Being Brave with Big Feelings

It is hard to believe that we are already nearing the end of January! I am so happy that our religious school is back from winter break and we are back in the swing of learning together. As we have since the beginning of the school year, we continue to use the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland’s La-Bri’ut curriculum. This week, our Kindergarten through 7th grade religious school classes are wrapping up a unit of study on the Jewish value of Ometz Lev. You can check out a short video about it here: https://youtu.be/dViTDQGcQkc. I’ll give you the CliffsNotes: Ometz Lev, as the video explains, means “Inner Strength”. A crucial lesson in today’s world.

Ometz by itself in Hebrew also means bravery. A focus of this teaching, throughout this past unit, has been on how our students can be brave in working through their “big feelings”. Big feelings are not an unfamiliar concept in our world today. I know that I have felt them daily over the past several months. I can think of many buzz words to type that would elicit some strong emotional responses from everyone. And I don’t just mean putting ketchup on a hot dog (which, yes, as a born and bred St. Louis girl, I absolutely do.)

As we reflect on this past year and our own big feelings, I hope we can find solace in the good moments we’ve all had. Spending extra time with family or funny memories of trying to teach our relatives and friends how to use Zoom. We are moving on to new beginnings in our country and looking ahead to the springtime and the rebirth of nature that it brings. My greatest wish is that we are inching closer to the day where we can all be together once again.

It is important for each of us to give ourselves the space to feel our big feelings; and always know, all of us at Emanuel are here to listen and connect, should you want to share. Let us all hope that the year ahead is full of more big feelings, but this time let them be big feelings of joy and celebration.



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Mandy Herlich, RJE

Director of ECRS

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Emanuel Congregation  5959 N. Sheridan Road Chicago, IL 60660

(T) 773.561.5173 (F) 773.561.5420  info@emanuelcong.org

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