|The Transformative Nature of Literacy|
|Written by Linda Lippitt|
By Linda Lippitt, October 2013
When I was 11 and in Hebrew school, I asked our teacher what the little lines above and below some letters were (the trope notes). The answer was "you don’t have to bother with those darling." Thirty years later, after the Bar Mitzvah of my youngest child, I decided I would have a Bat Mitzvah. The first time I opened the Torah and could read, and chant our ancient text, tears of joy ran down my face. It was really MY Torah now. Today, I regularly leyn (read), and whenever I prepare to read, I find a particular line I never noticed before, full of meaning for my life. I take great joy in teaching others too. Many children who find learning a challenge seem to feel less threatened by a warm sympathetic person, be it man or woman.
Linda is a developmental pediatrician who regularly chants and teaches at the 2 Conservative synagogues she attends.