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World's best parent - Ki Tavo

Friday, 20 September, 2019 - 5:33 am

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Little Miriam was screaming from the minute they entered the doctor's room. She was so scared of the vaccine that her mother felt sorry for her and they left the doctor's office without taking it.

We may say that this mother deserves the title of "World's Best Mama"… However, everyone understands that on the long run, this behavior will not do any good to the child.

We can see nowadays a decline in parental authority. Parents prefer to let their children do whatever they want. Research shows that children growing up without limits tend to have a low self-esteem and not to know how to deal properly with the world or with friends.

The opposite approach of having a very strict and authoritarian educating system hurts the relationship between parents and children. Children grow up with resentment in their heart that can express itself in very negative ways during adolescence.

What is the correct way?

In this week's Parasha Kit Tavo, the Torah commands us to walk "in the ways of G-d". How can we do that? The Maimonides explains that G-d's path is the middle path, far from any extreme. Extremism comes from blind feelings. The middle path requires thought and maturity. When we think about what does G-d want from us in this particular situation, then we will find the correct balance.

Such a parent, when he or she wants to give something to the child or allow him to do something, will take the time to reflect on this action: is it indeed for the good of the child or is it only because he or she does not have the strength to fight with him. On the other hand, if the parent wants to punish the child, he or she will think very well about if this action is for the good of the child or it is only in order to let out their nerves.

The great grandfather of my friend, Rabbi Meir Belisinki, was known as great educator. Once, his son did something very dangerous, and he wanted punish him. Yet he was not sure if this was in order to express his anger or coming from a true care for the child's future. Therefore, he went inside his room and thought for a long while, and only then decided on how to act. 

Education of our children is just one example. We can all apply this line of thought. Always walk in the middle path, thinking about what G-d wants from us. In this way, Mashiach will surely come now!

Shabbat Shalom!

Hanna

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