I have been teaching the siddur to members of my congregation and came up with the following question, how do you see God, that is what metaphor do you use to describe God other than King and Father or perhaps mother? Is God a doctor? lawyer? accountant? teacher? auto mechanic? or perhaps a techno-geek?
Well if you picked teacher you chose the right answer. Whether or not He is a member of the UFT is however not yet known. How do we know God is a teacher? The answer in simply and obviously stated in the Siddur in the second bracha (blessing) before the Shema of Shacharit we read "For their (our ancestors) sake graciously teach us...grant us discernment and understanding... then we will study Your Torah heed its' precepts and follow its' instruction and fulfill in love all of its' teachings. Open our eyes to your Torah, help our hearts cleave to its Mitzvot" In Ma'ariv the evening service there are similar sentiments. "With constancy You loved Your people Israel teaching us Torah and Mitzvot statues and laws."
God is a teacher and our relationship with Him is that of teacher and student. God needs to have the qualities of a teacher. The first one is patience which means never giving up on a student no matter how miserable a student he or she is. It is also to see the relationship with the student as a process and not an event. The good teacher loves the student even if it occasionally means being strict.
God as teacher is a great metaphor. It is hardly talked about or mentioned. It explains the emphases on intellectual learning that we Jews have, what we Jews are known for. It often fits a lot better than all that "father and king stuff". If we think of Him as teacher it all begins to make sense.
My thought for the day is that as we go through our daily experiences we try to discover what our Teacher is trying to teach us.