Friday, September 16, 2016

Ki Teitzei - Parenting

Shalllllooom sweeeetest friends!!!

A huuuuuge mazel to my most beloved friend and looooong time chavrusa R' Aharon Feit and his very chashuva and holy wife on the birth of Tzvi Shmuel!!!! May he together with his siblings give their parents much nachas in good health and prosperity for many years to come!!! Their home is like that of Avraham Avinu as it is saturated with warmth, pleasantness, yiras shomayim and every middah tova. Tzvi will enjoy.... 

A huuuuuuuuuuge mazel tov to my SWEEETEST FRIENDS R' Zecharia and Rachel Sherman on their recent marriage. May their home be filled with their holy light, in good health and constant joy. 


"There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you'd be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature."

One day Joe's mother turned to Joe's father and said," It's such a nice day, I think I'll take Joe to the zoo."
"I wouldn't bother," said father. "If they want him, let them come and get him!"

An irate woman burst into the baker's shop and said, " I sent my son in for two pounds of cookies this morning, but when I weighed them there was only one pound. I suggest that you check your scales."
The baker looked at her calmly for a moment or two and then replied, "Ma'am, I suggest you weigh your son."

In this weeks parsha we read of the rebellious and wayward son who is executed for certain circumscribed behaviors. According to Chazal - there never was one nor will there ever be. The purpose of the parsha is to learn the lessons but not to actually carry out capital punishment on the child. 

There are two types of healing. One is to heal illness. The other is PREVENTATIVE healing. You would rather not get sick in the first place - right?? So exercise, sleep well, eat a healthy diet [an apple a day keeps the doctor away], keep proper hygiene etc. etc. This will prevent illness.

The Torah does BOTH. If one is already spiritually ill then the Torah can heal him or her. After the bracha of סליחה in Shmoneh Esrei comes the bracha of רפואה. After one repents he or she is healed. However if one is healthy, he still needs the Torah to help preserve his health. The pasuk promises that any disease inflicted upon the Egyptians will not be inflicted upon you. Preventative. An ounce of prevention, they say, is like a pound of cure. [Which reminds me of my diet. I am trying to get back to my original weight - 7 pounds and 9 ounces]. 

The story of the rebellious child teaches up about prevention. We don't actually carry out the punishment but
the many lessons we can learn from the parsha teach us about the importance of prevention. We have to invest a lot of energy into producing good children. We also need to give children their space and not "over-parent". We also have to make constant decisions about what to say and not to say and how to say it etc. etc. 

There is an old story about a young man who asked an older man in an airport what the time is. The older man continuously refused to answer, even after being asked numerous times. Finally the young man asked him why he was being ignored. The older man explained that he feared that the answer would lead to other conversation which might result in a friendship. When they arrived at their destination the he would invite the younger man to his home to stay while on his trip. The man would meet his daughter and they would take a liking to each other and decide ultimately to get married. And he doesn't want a son-in-law who doesn't even own a watch.... 

That is looking ahead. Many parents have problems with their children that could have been prevented had they only foreseen the problems before they arose. The same applies to many other problems we have in life. [Sometimes there was nothing that could have been done. We are not prophets and have little or no control over almost everything. So don't blame yourself for what already happened]. 

But we can think long and hard before deciding where to live, where to send our children to school, camp etc. etc. Chazal says about the parsha of the rebellious child דרוש וקבל שכר - seek out the truth and depth and receive reward for that. 

[Based on the אוצרות הראי"ה ח"ב עמ' 171]

As we come closer to Rosh Hashana we can all think about things in our lives that have gone awry and of ways to change the destructive patterns and cycles we all find ourselves mired in. We can also think about future plans and how to avoid pitfalls. If one's intentions are completely pure, then one knows that he or she is on the right road. The ways of the Torah are דרכי נועם and נתיבותיה שלום. 

May we all have a sweet blissful shabbos,