Handiness Is Next to Godliness

| 2/11/2008 9:12:27 AM

WoodworkingA common criticism levied at the US educational system is that there isn’t enough time devoted to arts and crafts. “Our society devalues such handiwork,” Rabbi Danny Nevins writes for the Jewish website jspot.org, “but the Torah finds sanctity in sweat.” Students would do well to learn that “there are different types of wisdom,” according to Rabbi Nevins, and book learning is only one of them.

A similar point was made by Matthew B. Crawford in the New Atlantis, and written about in 2006 on Utne.com. Crawford writes that American society must reconsider its connection to manual labor. Learning and mastering a craft fosters self reliance and challenges consumer dependency, but too many people still value “knowledge work” over shop class.

Bennett Gordon

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