Yashua is the ultimate real-world example of Hebraic and Godly teaching and learning – two things so intrinsically connected that they cannot be separated.
We can learn why he taught as he did and how he learned by looking at the Hebrew Language in depth. Today we do just that!
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While studying this subject, I came to understand that teaching and learning are parts of a single process which has been set apart as Yahuwah’s preferred way of developing people. It is the presentation and the reception of information.
Lamed (למד) is the word most frequently translated to teach and learn in bibles. It is also the name of the Hebrew letter that is equivalent to the English L, the Lamed (ל). It means guidance. Root words that contain the (ל) give us details about this developmental process.
Below is a summary of the findings of my study. Within the summary, I have included the Hebrew root word (דבר) for each concept described in the summary. Complete details and definitions are available here.
The heart or mind (לב) is the guiding force that leads us to want to be covered. This desire is the reason we learn and teach.
Hebraically, learning and teaching is the process of guidance being gradually garnered, which we call studying (לג).
Children (לד) learn from their interactions with parents and other guides and the signals they send to the children with everything they do and say. For this reason, the Messiah tells us that to see the kingdom of heaven, we must be as little children. (Mat 18:3) Not that we should remain without knowledge, but that we become capable of observing and learning who we are and how to behave, taking our cues from our Father, as is with children and their parents.
Learning isn’t easy. In fact, you can recognize the teaching and learning process by impatience, exhaustion, weariness, and trouble (לה).
Not all guidance and learning are good. Perverse guidance (לז) is that which lead people toward harm. Likewise, guiding to cradle or coddle (לט) is not conducive to the goal of teaching and learning. The process requires openness and honesty. People cannot learn to their full potential when some things are hidden from them. Hence, Yashua says “he hid nothing, but taught openly…” (John 18:20)
The walk and message (לך) of an individual is the physical manifestation of their guiding force. We can look at people’s lives and actions and know with certainty how they have been guided. Yashua says, “You will know them by their fruits…” (Mat 7:16-20) This Hebraic concept is the source of this principle. When teaching and learning, it helps to recognize our trajectory and that of those we teach. This insight is a useful tool for evaluation and correction.
What does your walk look like? Whose message are you transmitting with your life?
Hebraically, a guide cannot lead another guide (לל). That’s like a beacon signaling another beacon – nothing happens. The beacons will continually signal each other and nothing or no one will develop; hence, (לל) translates to words like loop and night. Still, a guide in one area of knowledge can guide another in a different area of knowledge and both can grow together!
For example, if my area of expertise is Hebrew and yours is communicating with audiences, I can teach you Hebrew and you can teach me communication skills. On the other hand, if we both consider ourselves experts on the Hebrew Language, there may not be anything meaningful that we can teach one another in that area.
The guided path (לצ) is a development modality that encloses people into a certain space which forces them in the only direction made available to them – like a bull pin. It’s not necessarily bad, but it is limiting and for some, it’s the only way. With this modality, the sheep are sheep and never shepherds. This is often the only way many people have ever experienced. Even most religious leaders are still only sheep mimicking (לצ) shepherds.
Interpretation falls under the scope of the guided path. That is, outright telling learners what we think something means can be a handicap rather than a help to them. When teaching, is better to allow learners to seek out answers based on the facts and their own reasoning skills before putting forth our “interpretation”. It’s also good to provide alternative interpretations and allow learners to identify what makes the most sense to them.
Notice how Yashua spoke in parables and never explained them unless someone asked, “What are you talking about?” He also gave many parables to interpret the same truth about what the kingdom of heaven was. Before inserting his explanation of the parables, he gave his learners (i.e. disciples) the opportunity to try and make it make sense on their own. When they couldn’t, he provided the facts of the parable and allowed them to imagine those scenarios and what they meant in the grand scheme of things. His method led to him having to explain the parables less and less each time he gave a new one.
In teaching and learning, there must be a common energy that guides both the learner and the teacher. That can be a power or authority, god, an oath, or a yoke. In other words, the learner and the teacher must be bound to one another by something or someone.
The physical needs, limitations, and abilities (כל) of a person can affect how, what, and when they learn. Being hungry, restricted, or incapable, for example, will change how and at what rate a person learns.
The instinctively human way of teaching and learning is to take a rigid approach (חל). That is, to guide and be guided according to a perceived necessity and circumstance. This is called ordinary because there isn’t anything special about this learning and teaching mode. It’s simply how humans were made to function.
The learning process is more productive when it’s not forced (חל) or pressured (של). Still, some may develop well in a forced or pressured learning environment, while others do not.
The Godly way of learning and teaching is by the door or (דל). This mode allows for a two-way exchange between learners and teachers. Thus, Yashua says, “I am the door…” (John 10:7-9) He further specifies that there is no other way to the Father except by this modality of learning and that it is the right to enter and exit freely.
This idea is also reinforced by his words, “Yoke (לו and אל) yourself to me and learn (למד) from me…” (Mat 11:29)
Just examine Yashua’s role as guide or teacher. He did not just speak at people, he opened himself up to be questioned, tested, tried, criticized, and judged openly. He strongly demonstrated his points of view while also answering questions when they were asked, even by his enemies. This is Godly and Hebraic teaching and learning.
Lats (לץ) demonstrated that interpreting information for someone, limits their ability to see all the angles. Their minds focus in on the interpretation and neglect the source. In teaching, this is important because learners need the opportunity to understand concepts at deeper than surface levels to really “know” them… which brings us to our next point.
The purpose of teaching and learning is to “know” and knowledge is not what one is told or reads, but what becomes a part of who they are. Involuntary abilities such as the throat knowing how to swallow (לע), the eyes knowing to blink, and the heart muscles knowing how to pump blood through the body are examples of what true knowledge is. When something is known, responses and reactions are instinctive. Like the moment you think to do something that you “know” is wrong and begin to feel pressured not to do it. Or when asked your name, you say it with full confidence “knowing” that it is indeed your name. These responses demonstrate your knowledge of such things.
When learning or teaching any new information or skill, the goal should be for the learner to acquire that same level of knowledge as our involuntary bodily processes. The new skill or behavior must be performed as an involuntary process. In terms of what Yahuah taught, this means not having to convince oneself to act according to the character of God. So, as long as we are “trying” to do something, we lack knowledge in that thing. It isn’t until doing it becomes natural and instinctive that we are truly knowledgeable about it.
If someone is “trying” to live according to God’s will, it’s an indication that they don’t “know” what God’s will is. If they did, then they’d be doing God’s will, rather than trying to do it.
The purpose of learning and teaching is to impart and acquire knowledge that we can employ in our lives. That is, we should be able to perform (פל) adequately enough to judge and be judged and be distinct from those who are not able to perform.
This teaching and learning process is Yahuwah’s way of developing us. We can utilize His ways, as both teachers and learners, to get us to the end goal of performance and judgment.
Perhaps, we are not waiting on the coming, but it is waiting on us… We must perform (פל) to be judged and to perform, we must learn, teach, and know!
The entire concept of learning and teaching is summed up in just a few verses of the Messiah’s teachings in John 10:7-15…
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. – ESV
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