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The Old Man and the Fig Tree

Hundred Board Paper

Why do teachers teach?   There are many ways our teachers are inspired to continue doing their work with passion and pride. Teaching is humbling, exhausting, and challenging.  It is also the most  joyful, rewarding and meaningful work I can think of. Here is a story that comes from the Talmud that inspires me to think about my debt to my ancestors and to “pay it forward.” I heard the story at a Yom Kippur service yesterday and borrowed the text below from a blog site.

An old man in ancient Israel was planting a fig tree, when a Roman general happened to pass by. The general says to the man, “Don’t you realize it will take twenty years before that tree will grow enough to give fruit, and you will be long dead by then?” The old man responded, “When I was a small child, I could eat fruit because those who came before me had planted trees. Am I not obliged to do the same for the next generation?”

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