Monday, May 16, 2011

The Founding of the Jewish Public School System


"Rav Yehudah said, citing Rav: Remember that man, named Yehoshua ben Gamla, for the good. If not for him, Torah would have been forgotten from Israel! Initially, one who had a father would learn Torah from him, and one who did not have a father would not learn Torah… They then enacted a system of public teachers in Jerusalem… Still, only those with fathers would be brought to learn, and those who did not have fathers would not go and learn. They then enacted that, in each region, the people would establish teachers.

"They would bring in the students at the age of 16 or 17, and then if the teacher got upset at the student the student would simply lash out and leave. Yehoshua ben Gamla enacted that they should have teachers in every land and in every city, and bring in the students at age 6 or 7."

(Talmud, Bava Batra 21a)

Have a great day,

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