43. My Education

I had finished the synagogue school more than one year early and had become a son of law of Israel.

The Jews had a tradition according to which boys after their graduation from the synagogue school went to Jerusalem together with their parents and were consecrated into the sons of law of Israel in the main synagogue of that city. This way they were passing from their adolescence into their full manhood. And that usually happened at the age of fourteen. However, I was accepted into the sonship of law of Israel earlier due to my greater inclination to my studies at the synagogue school; and also due to my greater devotion to my education by my father, Joseph, who was responsible for my education as of a future son of law of Israel since the age of five. I received from him fairly thorough explanations about nature, about people’s living, about earning one’s living, about associating with other people, with the children that were my contemporaries. My father would often take me together with him for outings beyond the city of Nazareth and would show me the surrounding environment and explain to me history. I watched him while he was at work. And I helped him since he had made me a small workbench so that I could also practically experience the process of his work. And the explanations about God by my mother, Mary, had also a big impact on me.

But the explanations by my parents were not sufficient to me as to why God had to be that merciless as to punish His erring children. Thus, I was thinking about God quite a lot by myself. And these meditations provided me deeper thoughts in my own mind. My father had taught me to read not only in Aramaic but also in Greek. Therefore, my diligence at school was not that extraordinary, my mind was just accustomed to looking for the causes of every action. I was not satisfied with the traditional answer: “Such is the will of Jahve.” Thus, I was keen on the issues as to why the will of Jahve was such? And my questions caused much embarrassment to both my parents, grown-ups around in Nazareth, and my teachers at the synagogue school. And still my mind that was searching for deeper answers about many things that would satisfy it, allowed me to understand and assimilate the subjects instructed at the synagogue school much easier. Therefore, I finished the synagogue school even before reaching the age of thirteen. And I became the son of law of Israel when I was taken by my father to Jerusalem for the first time.