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Leadership

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Dear JH Classical Academy Family,
 
Gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude encompasses the feeling on campus during our first few weeks of school. God’s grace was present in our leadership team meetings and in board discussions, as we further designate the results for which our organization exists. Faculty had a gracious attitude about following our health protocols, practicing patience and perseverance amidst fatigue and frustration surrounding Covid. Students are grateful to be back in the classrooms learning and discovering again, and quite enthusiastic about their new teachers and new friends. Everyone has been showing appreciation and returning kindness.
Our Jewish brothers and sisters are experiencing a solemn and joyous month of reflection and celebration, which begins with the ten-day period between Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Jewish tradition holds that the gates of Heaven close as the sun goes down on Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and prayer in concern for the fate of the soul. Rosh Hashana is the birthday of humanity; the day God created “adam,” the Hebrew word for “human,” symbolizing the beginning of a new year. These high holy days are “Days of Awe” because of the awesome burden felt individually and collectively in atoning for misdeeds, making peace with others, and facing God’s judgement. There is much for us to learn from this practice of sustained introspection and profound reflection.
 
Our reflections this month have been on the classical and biblical virtue of justice. Plato, the Greek philosopher who taught 300 years before Christ, talked about justice as both an individual and a political virtue where each is given his due or what they deserve. St. Augustine, writing 300 years after Christ, synthesized the Platonic virtue of justice with Hebraic and Christian ideas saying justice is found when the soul rules the body and when humans love and obey God. In the Pentateuch God gave Moses laws for the nation of Israel that enjoin justice towards one’s neighbors and fellow man. The only way to stop punishment from the Lord was to start doing justice: Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless. Plead the case of the widow” Isaiah 1:17.
 
The 3rd Grade class learns about Hammurabi’s 4000-year-old Babylonian Code of Law from ancient Mesopotamia, well-known for its “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” principle. They discuss what justice is like without mercy or what would it be like if God only gave us what we justly deserved. What an amazing conversation to have with 8-year-old students who have a strong sense of justice!  Understanding justice within the context of God’s mercy and forgiveness, which we don’t deserve but is freely given to us, helps us understand His unimaginable love for us and others. With this knowledge, we know what is right and good: to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.
 
Grace and peace,
 
 
Mrs. Polly J. Friess
Head of School
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Jackson Hole Classical Academy
P.O. Box 7466
Jackson, WY 83002
 
Enrollment Inquiries:
Polly Friess
(307) 690-8396
 
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(307) 201-5040
 
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