Volume 30 Issue 28 14 Sep 2021 8 Tishri 5782

Potato Bag

Hagit Bar-on – Head of Hebrew K-6 | Jewish Studies Coordinator K-2

The Potato Bag (unknown writer)

A kindergarten teacher decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato would be given a name of a person that the child is angry at. The number of potatoes children would put in their plastic bag would depend on the number of people they were angry at.

When the day came, the children brought some potatoes with the name of the people they were angry at. Some had two potatoes, some three, while some had up to five potatoes. The teacher then told the children to carry the potatoes in the plastic bag with them wherever they went for a week. Days after days passed, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Furthermore, those having five potatoes also had to carry heavier bags. After a week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended. 

The teacher asked: “How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for a week?” The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they went.

The teacher said: “This is exactly the situation when you carry your anger for somebody inside your heart. The burden of anger will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just a week, can you imagine what is it like to carry anger in your heart for a lifetime?”

Forgiveness is a present we give ourselves.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi

The ten days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are days of Tshuvah (repentance). It is no accident that the word for repentance, Tshuvah, comes from the Hebrew word meaning “return”. Tshuvah involves a transformation of our soul, not merely an act of speech. We all need the courage and strength to look deeply within our hearts and search our souls. Saying sorry is essential on the path to seek forgiveness and to become a better human being. We should go one step further and do complete Tshuvah by resolving to change our behaviour and grow during the coming year. I would like to take this opportunity and ask for a true and sincere forgiveness from anyone I have ever hurt.

May we all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a happy and healthy year!

On a different note

I wanted to share with you how some teachers can go an extra mile to teach their students in the best way possible. Morah Gaida turned her wall into a whiteboard so she can demonstrate the Hebrew Alef Bet and writing to her students. Such a courageous act Morah Gaida! Parents, I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home.