A few years ago, the Beth El bulletin published a photograph of Jehiel lighting Hanukkah candles with a class from the Beth El Preschool. A child with whom I am acquainted was in the class, so I asked the child to identify various people in the photo. The child correctly identified classmates and teachers. Then I pointed to Jehiel. “And who’s this?” I asked. Without hesitation, the child replied, “That’s God.”
Yes, it’s cute, but when you think about it, it was an easy mistake to make. Children are very quick to pick up on moral authority, and Jehiel has it. That’s why I have an engraved sign on my desk that says WWJD: What would Jehiel do? He’s never needed to hold mountains over people’s heads or fling fire and brimstone. His style is more along the lines of Isaiah: Come, let us reason together. As a teacher and a preacher he has always proceeded out of compassion and urged others to do the same–to live up to the best in themselves.
By: Nikki Pusin