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...A story in the newspaper caught my eye recently. It described a study done at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In the study, 1,500 American children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds were polled. It was found that 82 percent of children going into first grade had a positive self-image. Years later, the same children were polled upon entering high school. The results that time were reversed. Only 18 percent of children had a positive self-image.
When the same kids were polled graduating high school, only 8 percent still had a good self-image. There is something amiss if so many children lose their self worth in the course of their school years. The question is what can we do? And on this the Torah has something simple but profound to say.
It emerges in a fascinating parallel between the first and last books of the Bible. The Book of Genesis concluded with Jacob on his deathbed blessing his 12 sons; Deuteronomy concludes with Moses on the eve of his death blessing the 12 tribes of Israel...