Oxford Dictionary chose emoji as their most popular Word Of The Year in 2015. This is very telling of our social media obsessed generation. The face can easily be mistaken as an external feature. In fact, it is often used to denote superficiality. Consider, for example, the commonly-used saying: "Don't take it at face value." But, the true meaning of the face is encapsulated by its Hebrew name, panim, which comes from the word penimi, internal. The face is a window to a person's inner being. The more socially competent we are, the better we can read another person's face and detect their feelings without them saying a word. Behind the guise of emojis, we can avoid showing our true emotions.
Incidentally, Ohr Temimim Day School had an emoji-rific Adar. The eighth grade students decorated the school with this theme. It is our hope and goal to train our students to not get distracted by superficiality, and to be able to see through to the faces of reality. Jews have always been known as people of integrity, sensitivity and non-judgmental acceptance. Ultimately this will help us all connect beyond emojis.
Submitted by Morah Brocha Greenberg, grade 2 teacher at Ohr Temimim Day School