Critical Yeast-A Message to the Class of 2017

To the class of 2017, if I had to think of one thing that I want to do before you officially graduate, it is to give you a blessing.  Yes, a blessing, not one of a blessed day, or a blessed life but for tonight, I want you to have the blessing of yeast.  Yes, yeast -- the stuff that makes bread rise--I give you the blessing of critical yeast.  
 You see you will be told in life, that in order to truly make an impact, you will need a critical mass--lots of people, big places, big jobs, big bucks--things  on a grand scale.  But waiting for a big stage is a tall order and that may be a wait that can last forever.  
 But theologian and thinker, John Lederbach, points out that to truly make an impact, to make change, we need people to act like yeast.*  Why yeast?
 Yeast has to move and mingle with the dough to have an impact.  It is kneaded and mixed into the mass and has “capacity to generate growth in others.”
Class of 2017, get involved with others, mix and move, impact and be impacted and you will make a difference. 
Yeast needs a warm, inviting, safe environment to make those around it rise. 
Class of 2017, select your surroundings carefully enter into spaces that will nurture your amazing talents and make you become your best selves. 
Yeast is not static or stationary but “constantly moves across a range of different processes and connections” to help the dough. (Lederbach, 91-93)
Class of 2017, keep moving, keep doing, go here, there and everywhere -- wherever and impact the world.
The Midrash**speaks of a King who had two servants, both beloved.  He gave them both two gifts--wheat and linen.  One of the servants took the wheat, grinded it, mixed it and baked it and made bread.  He then took the linen, dyed it, weaved it and made cloth for a table cover.  
The other kept the gifts as they were.  The Midrash asks, which was more precious to the King?  Certainly the one who took the ingredients that were given and added action, and added "yeast" was the one that made the greatest impact.
 The Midrash goes on to tell us that this is what God gave us when God gave the Torah.  God gave the words and the verses, like the wheat and the linen.  It is up to us to use those gifts and raise them higher.  
We need to believe that we can be change agents.  We need to be that critical yeast that can make a difference.
Your loving parents and your talented and dedicated teachers  whom we thank so much have poured their energy and souls into you and have given you the tools.  
Class of 2017 through your intellectual, emotional and spiritual energy and boy do you have energy, you have impacted Kinneret. 
We will miss you.  But now is your time to take your yeast.
and use it.  Use it to create and give--to give to protect and sustain others in High School and beyond
כחטין ‏להוציא מהם סולת וכפשתן  לארוג מהן בגד.

**מדרש אליהו זוטא פרק ב



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