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Parsha Parenting


Crushed for the light (27:20)

When one speaks crushing words of rebuke, it must be with the sole purpose of enlightening, illuminating and uplifting one's fellow. Never, G-d forbid, to humiliate and break him.

(Chassidic saying)

As parents, we have the tremendous responsibility of teaching our children and guiding them in the proper path. On this journey, we find ourselves having to stop negative actions and discipline for negative behavior. But we must always remember the goal—to illuminate their soul and bring out the best potential in our child. Sometimes, we feel the urge to tell our children off for something they have done. But we must first assess the situation and make sure that our words will have an “illuminating” effect after all.

This Shabbos, reflect on the way you handle negative situations. What is the follow up? Is what I’m saying having an effect or is it, G-d forbid, “crushing”, but not illuminating? Tell your children about the special job Hashem gave you—to help them be their best and light up as brightly as possible. “You need to lose out right now because you didn’t make the right choice. I have a special job to help you be your best and when I see you are ready, you can _____.”

May Hashem give us the strength to truly allow our children to shine by guiding them and disciplining them properly. May we enjoy the light of every Jew with the coming of Moshiach Now!


They shall make for Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell amidst them (25:8)

G-d desired a dwelling place in the lower realms. (Midrash Tanchuma, Naso 16)

This is what man is all about; this is the purpose of his creation and of the creation of all the worlds, higher and lower--that there be made for G-d a dwelling in the lower realms. (Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi)

When you invite someone to your home, you prepare by thinking of the different ways you can make them feel “at home”, be it their favorite food, a comfortable seat, a pleasant conversation…

When we are aware of the goal of every Jew, which is spelled out in this Parsha, which is to make this world a “home” for Hashem, it gives purpose to our every thought, speech and action. If we stop and think: “Will this make Hashem comfortable in His World?”, making the right choice becomes a simpler task.

What a gift to a child—to have a guiding principle behind his/her choices. Children are very aware of Hashem’s OmniPresence (“Up, up, down, down, right, left and all around…”) and when they know of their job, that is, to make Hashem comfortable EVERYWHERE, it is the foundation for life.

This Shabbos, point out to your children the different things that make you feel comfortable and cozy at home. Encourage them to share as well. Let that be a springboard for the conversation of “What do you think makes Hashem comfortable in our house? Our thoughts? Our mouths when we speak?”

May the world truly reflect an abode for Hashem with the coming of Moshiach Now!


This they shall give... half a shekel (30:13)

The mitzvah of the half-shekel is that each should contribute a coin that [is valued at] half of the dominant coin of that time. If the prevailing coin is takal, they should give a half-takal; if it is a selah, they should give a half-selah; if it is a darcon, they should give a half-darcon. (Midrash HaGadol)

Why not a complete coin? To teach us that no man is a complete entity unto himself. Only by joining with another can a person become a "whole thing". (The Chassidic Masters)

As parents, we are constantly looking for ways to help our child feel more loved by giving them special attention and alone time, and by dedicating moments where they know they are the priority. This can be a challenge when we also need to give undivided love and attention to other siblings and members of the family. With the above Torah insight, we can face this task with less stress! The half-shekel teaches us that each person is only complete when he joins with another. So we must find the balance between fostering special one on one time and also helping our child be aware that when one receives love, we are all gaining together.

This Shabbos, verbalize how happy you are that you have the opportunity to love and be loved by multiple people in your family. “First we had one baby, and then Hashem gave us another child . Now we all have more people to love and be loved by!”

May we merit to be truly united with love with the coming of Moshiach Now!

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