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Publisher's Foreword

Inaugurating Education

What Is Done?

Days On Which An Upsherinish Should Be Postponed

The Prohibition Against Shaving The Edges of One's Head

Areinfirinish - A Child's Entry Into Cheder

Practices Associated With A Child's Education Connected With An Upsherinish

In The Footsteps Of Our Rebbeim

The Letter The Rebbe Would Send To Parents In Connection With The Upsherinish of Their Children

Upsherinish
A Milestone In A Child's Education

Publisher's Foreword

by Eliyahu Touger

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 Inaugurating Education  

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A parent who brings his child to the milestones in his life seeks a straight path. He does not want to grope or search for what could be right. Instead, he wants to take his child by the hand and lead him down a well-paved road.

This is the advantage of following the guidance of our Jewish tradition. There is ample room for creativity and personal expression, but there are clear guidelines and directives. A parent takes his child on the path which our people have tread for thousands of years.

The first steps the child takes down this path are very significant. In that vein, the age of three marks a turning point. Until this point, the child was carried by his parents; from this age onward, the parent and child proceed together, hand in hand. Until this age, the child was a baby to whom everything was given. From this time onward, he is considered as a developing youngster who responds and takes an active role in his process of education.

Judaism marks this turning point with two customs upsherinish, the child's first haircut, and areinfirinish, the child's entry to cheder and the beginning of his formal education.

"What exactly should be done?" and "What is the significance of all these customs?" are questions which almost all parents naturally ask as they approach these celebrations.

To provide answers, we have prepared this publication.

Before concluding it is necessary to acknowledge two publications: Yalkut HaTisporet by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Serebryanski and Kuntres Upsherinish by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Simon. These texts provided much of the source material used in this publication. Also, we would like to thank Rabbi Levi Goldstein for his advice with regard to the customs associated with the areinfirinish.

Our Sages relate that at the splitting of the Red Sea, the culmination of the redemption from Egypt, it was the children who "recognized G-d first." May our efforts in educating our children hasten the coming of the day when they will "recognize Him first" at the coming of the ultimate Redemption to be led by Mashiach.

15 Teves, 5760

 Inaugurating Education  
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