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  • Writer's pictureChaim

Wordless Wisdom

There's a well known Midrash that states that before a baby is born, a Malach teaches the baby the entire Torah. Before the baby is born, the Malach taps the baby on the lip, causing him to forget everything.

I saw the following question and answer in the book "Seeing God" by Rabbi David Aaron. Why would the malach tap the baby on the lip to forget? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to tap the baby on the head, the seat of knowledge, to cause him to forget?

In the 1970's there was research done on the best approaches to education. It was discovered that there were significant differences between children taught the traditional methods of multiplication and addition and children that were not. When presented with a page full of dots, the children who were taught traditional math counted the dots or multiplied the vertical lines of dots with the horizontal lines of dots to conclude the total number of dots. However, the children that weren't taught math didn't need to count the dots. By looking at the paper, they were able to know how many dots were on it by seeing the big picture.

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