Nail art has officially become a religion. Well, sort of. A 25-year-old rabbi in suburban New York, Yael Buechler, is using a really sneaky and clever way to teach her students about the Torah--she's doing it via nail art. (Back when I was in Catholic grammar school, we learned teachings like the catechism by rote memorization and fear-mongering. Perhaps if someone showed me the ten commandments or the stations of the cross via a manicure, I might not be the fallen Catholic I am today.)
Rabbi Buechler, who was profiled in the New York Times recently, has been using nail art to help girls personalize and understand the teachings of the Torah. Her weekly club, called Midrash Manicures ("midrash" is a way of interpretingf Jewish text) has been very popular amongst the junior high set at the Jewish school where she teaches.
She's been using nail art since her college days to enhance her own learning, and even sported a custom manicure for her rabbinic ordination last May. While manicures seem like a very, um, unorthodox way to teach religion, Buechler told the NYT, "If I said come to a Midrash course, I’d have five or six students. But Midrash Manicures? Twenty plus.” It's pretty brilliant. The school supports her, too. The assistant principal said, "You can’t possibly come up with a meaningful design for your nails until you have read and analyzed the text.”
Rabbi Buechler has become so good at nail art that she is now ambidextrous (we'd also love to see her collection of nail art supplies.) The bottom line is that she's using a teaching method that makes girls learn without even realizing they're learning something.
Click through to see some of her Torah-inspired nail art.