web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Torah »

Child Raising

PTI-122013

Everyone in the universe wants his or her child to be “the best”; the only question is: the best what? Our people, Am Yisroel, focuses on kedusha and Torah, so we naturally look for all kinds of berachos and segulos to make our children gedolei Torah and yarei Shamayim. In that spirit let’s look into a critical question:

What does it take to merit children like Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohen?!

I’m going to give you the secret, and I daven that we all can apply it and put it to good use, to see greatness and yiddishe nachas from our children!

A person’s greatness is almost never entirely self-made.  Much more often the gedulah, the nobility of character and the middos that have pushed this individual and allowed him or her to blossom developed out of the many different experiences he or she had over a lifetime. We know that hergel na’asah teva (frequent repetition of a thing makes it into second nature) and girsah d’yankusa  (a child’s learning) is never shaken off, so it’s only reasonable that the greatest influence on a person comes from his or her parents.

Imagine Amram and Yocheved, the parents of Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohen.  We know who they were, but what do we know of their child-raising techniques?  What was the central pillar of their home that helped foster these two spiritual giants?

Let’s try and get a small glimpse at the gadlus of Yocheved. We know that Pharoh decreed that she and her daughter, Miriam, the midwives of the Jewish people, were to kill all the Jewish boys at birth. Where did these two women get the strength to defy the greatest, most powerful ruler of their time? The pasuk says “Vatireina hamiyaldos es HaElokim, the midwives feared Hashem” (Shemos 1:17). Their yiras Shamayim would not allow them to perform such a terrible crime, no matter what the penalty might be. And what was Hashem’s reward to them for this great yiras Shamayim? The Midrash tells us that Yocheved gave birth to Moshe Rabbeinu and Miriam to Betzalel, who built the Mishkan.

This Midrash is clearly telling us that yiras Shamayim, fear of Hashem, is a key component to merit children such as Moshe Rabbeinu.

Reb Yerucham Levovitz zt”l, the renowned Mirrer Mashgiach, explains to us that fear of Hashem is not something that we either have or don’t; it is a trait that we can (and must!) acquire, reinforce and expand. Our obligation is to build our yiras Shamayim.  Just think of how much Yocheved and Miriam had to work on themselves to build up to their levels of yiras Shamayim, a lofty bastion that could stand up to the threats of Pharoh, the most powerful, commanding and terrifying (flesh and blood) ruler in the world.

What is one of the first things we teach our children to say first thing each and every morning? “Reishis Chochma Yiras Hashem,” the first element in wisdom is the fear of Hashem.

But how does this yiras Shamayim produce a Moshe Rabbeinu or a Betzalel?  The pasuk tells us “Vayehi kivayaas lahem battim, and it was because the midwives feared Hashem that He made for them houses.”  What are these houses? The Gemara (Sotah 11b) says that these were houses of Kehuna and Leviya (priesthood, from Yocheved), and Malchus (royalty, from Miriam, who married into the tribe of Yehuda) and the action that merited these huge rewards was their fear of Hashem.

Why are these virtual empires called “houses?” I believe it is because a house is much more than four walls and a roof, not just a place in which we eat and sleep. A house is the environment we create for ourselves, an empire that expresses who we truly are.  When a child says, “I want to go home,” he is talking about a whole set of things: his mother’s love and support, his father’s strength and humor, the care and concern of those around him, the smells of the kitchen, the pictures on the wall – the whole environment. Yocheved and Miriam’s home was suffused with yiras Shamayim; it permeated the entire house.  This was the atmosphere in which Moshe Rabbeinu was raised – and even though he was only there for two years, it was enough to protect him with a solid Jewish identity and a way of relating to the palace of Pharoh (where he was raised by Basya) such that he was not influenced by the wickedness and evil of Pharoh and the Egyptian royal court.

Now you have the secret: make your home a makom yiras Shamayim a place where fear of Heaven is part and parcel of every inch and fiber of the home life. With this as a starting point, may Hashem bless us all with children who are gedolei Yirei Shamayim.

About the Author: Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is Associate Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Passaic Torah Institute, Passaic, NJ.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Child Raising”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

800px-Gustav_Jaeger_Bileam_Engel

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

More Articles from Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim
Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

PTI-logo-NEW

This is a recurring theme in this week’s parsha, in which there are many mistakes made based on perception.

People love their GPS; just type in the address and it tells you exactly how to get to where you want to go.

There is one day of the year on which the Satan has no power: Yom Kippur.

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Life is what you make of it. And if our lives are defined by Torah, then these weeks of Sefira are all about making the most of it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/child-raising/2013/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: