Printed from ChabadNaples.com

Ettie's Thanksgiving Chanukah message

Ettie's Thanksgiving Chanukah message

 Email

Ettie zaklosA message from the Director

 

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Teachers and Friends,  

Welcome to the Pre-School of the Arts’ first ever “Thanksgiving/Chanukah school performance and celebration…(otherwise known as “Thanksgivukkah”)  

You know, there’s been much to do about the fact that these two holidays are coinciding this year – a phenomenon that has not occurred in 95 years, and is not destined to occur again for another 57 years!... (So what do you think we all meet back here again in 2070 for our Second Annual “Thanksgivukkah” Celebration – by then, today’s performers will be beaming with pride, watching their own grandchildren on stage!... Now, that would be something!)

Indeed, there is something very apropos and meaningful about the convergence of these two beautiful holidays – both of which represent a celebration of religious freedom, and both of which are centered on the theme of gratitude for the blessings in our lives…

 I’d like to make the point that one need not wait another 57 years to experience Thanksgivukkah!… As a matter of fact, I would suggest that on any given day step foot into the Preschool of the Arts, what one would see unfolding before your eyes is Thanksgivukah every single day!

Take Thanksgiving for example… From the recital of the “Modeh Ani” prayer in the morning, to the lessons shared about proper manners and respectful behavior; from the of songs of joy and thankfulness played and sung throughout the day, to the inspiring stories told of people who didn’t just take, but made sure to give back; the concept of gratitude is more than pervasive throughout the course of every school day…

Moreover, our children don’t just learn about gratitude; (but as you will soon see) they are walking and talking, singing and dancing, manifestations of it!… Their sense of wonder and curiosity, imagination and creativity, innocence and purity, are, in and of themselves, the greatest symbols of thankfulness on earth!... I would further suggest that there is a lot that we, as adults, can learn about thanksgiving from our children… Nothing captures the spirit of happiness and gratefulness more radiantly and perfectly than the smile of a child!

Likewise when it comes to Chanukah… We all know the story of how, in the times of the Temple, a single one-day supply of pure olive oil miraculously burned for eight full days… Well, each and every day, when I walk from classroom to classroom at the Pre-school for the Arts, do you know what I see?... I see the same thing you see when you look into the eyes of your children and grandchildren… I see miracles!... Absolute miracles!...

Each and every child – like the individual candles of the Menorah – is a pure and precious source of light and illumination… Every child has their own distinctive flame – their own unique luminary potential – with which to brighten the world around them… As parents and as teachers, our jobs are simply to touch their wicks – pique their interests and ignite their passions – allowing their own G‑d-given potential to shine forth in all of its beauty and brilliance...

On that note, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of the teachers and staff at the Pre-School of the Arts who bring this beautiful approach to education to life each and every day!… Thank you for being the facilitating angels of our daily miracles! 

Finally, I would like to conclude with one of my favorite stories...

It’s told that the legendary composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, once performed one of his classical symphonies in the presence of the Emperor of Vienna (Joseph the Second)… After the performance, the Emperor (who happened to be tone deaf and therefore slept through most of the performance) called out to Mozart: “A good effort!” he said, “An excellent effort!… But… too many notes!”…

To which the musical genius of all time responded, “Your Majesty, there is not a single note extra or a single note missing from the piece!”…

Only a composer of the caliber of Mozart could so confidently make such a bold statement… Each of Mozart’s notes was essential to the symphony’s perfection…

So it is with the symphony that is G‑d’s world… As the Ultimate Composer and Conductor, He does not add or omit a single note other than that which is absolutely essential to the perfection of His masterpiece… Every child, without exception, lends his own distinctive note to G‑d’s symphony - without which the whole piece would be deficient; and without which the show cannot go on!…

Well, the good news is that all of our notes are here today – as bright and as joyful as ever!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

 Ettie Zaklos 

 Email