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ב"ה

Parsha Parenting

Tzav

And the fire upon the Altar shall be kept burning in it... and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning (6:5)

Although a fire descended from heaven upon the Altar, it is a mitzvah to add to it a humanly produced fire. (Talmud, Eruvin 63a)This is a rule that applies to all areas of life: the gifts of life are bestowed upon us from Above, yet it is G-d's desire that we add to them the product of our own initiative. (The Chassidic Masters)

As parents, we constantly work towards the balance of helping our children to be independent, and of giving them the loving support and guidance which they need in order to learn and grow. The example of the fire on the Mizbeach gives us a wonderful insight into our important task. Hashem grants us talents, abilities and capabilities. What He wants us to do is add our own initiative and passion into what we have already as a gift. When we know our child is capable of doing something on their own, we must acknowledge the ability that they have and then lovingly set the expectation for them to accomplish. In this way, we create the context for them to achieve and be proud of what they can do!

This Shabbos, encourage your child to take the initiative in an area where you might have been doing something for them. “Boruch Hashem, you are capable of filling up your own cup to drink. Let me see how you can do it on your own!”

May we celebrate this PURIM with MOSHIACH NOW!

Vayikra

No leaven... [shall be present] in any offering of G-d (2:11)

Leaven, which is dough that has fermented and risen, represents self-inflation and pride, and there is nothing more abhorrent to G-d. In the words of the Talmud, "G-d says of the arrogant one, 'He and I cannot dwell together in the world.'"

(The Chassidic Masters)

In this Parsha, the idea of Chametz is mentioned in the above command which teaches us that there must be no chametz in any offering. As we prepare for Pesach, the removal of chametz represents the removal of any trace of arrogance and haughtiness to prepare for the true freedom of Pesach.

Parents must be aware of the distinction between arrogance and self worth. The chametz, the self inflation, is represented by the failure to see beyond one’s own desires and feelings. We must instill the awareness of this negative haughtiness in our children and help them see beyond their own needs and desires.

Positive self worth, on the other hand, gives a child the confidence of who they are, making it easier to accept others and give to others. This is built by praising a child for concrete good choices they have made and for using their talents and strengths to do mitzvos and help others. It is important to point out to our children that the gifts that they have are very valuable; they must recognize what they are good at. Together with that comes he recognition that these gifts are from Hashem Who is expecting us to do only good with them.

This Shabbos, focus on building positive self worth in your child by noticing the good choices that they make. Help them recognize that when we only think about our own needs and desires (chametz), it can lead to not good choices.

By instilling humility and purpose in our children, we give them the space to connect with Hashem and come to a time where we will all see Hashem in an  open and revealed way with the coming of Moshiach Now!

Vayakhel-Pekudei

 Vayakhel

Six days work shall be done; and the seventh day shall be holy... (35:2)

The Torah describes the Jew's work in the course of the week as a passive endeavor -- "Six days work shall be done" (not "six days you shall do work"). For the Jew regards his workday endeavors not as the source of his sustenance, but merely as a "vessel" in which to receive G-d's blessing. (The Chassidic Masters)

From the above lesson we can derive that our success is dependent upon G-d’s blessing in any area of life. Hard work, for sure. But that is merely creating a vessel for the successful outcome. G-d gives us many opportunities to invest our energy and talents into and in turn, He rests His blessing. The question is: what are we choosing to spend our time, energy, money and space on? Human beings are pulled by many different priorities, but raising our children and focusing on their education is a winner! What we invest into our children by parenting them properly is the most important vessel we can create in life. By taking the time to reflect and strengthen our skills as parents, we also show our children what we think is most important.

This Shabbos, enjoy the successes of the past week. Thank Hashem for the milestones your children have reached and the positive habits you were able to strengthen within them. “Boruch Hashem, I see it is much easier for you to remember to put your dirty clothing away!” Recommit yourself to creating an even stronger vessel in the coming week.

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

Pekudei

G-d spoke to Moshe…”On the first day of the month, you should setup the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting…” (Shemos 40:2)

Although Moshe alread y had his own “personal Tabernacle”, the “tent of Meeting”, which was outside the camp, Hashem desired that he should be involved with the physical labor of creating the Jewish People’s Tabernacle. This is to teach us that a person cannot only busy himself with his own spiritual development, but also needs to be involved in helping others attain their own growth. (The Chassidic Masters)

Every human being is constantly faced with opportunities for growth. As parents, we must constantly be aware that our children are right at the beginning of their journey and need our involvement in every aspect of their lives. Something that may seem like simple common knowledge to us is not obvious to our children and needs to be explained. Why is it very important to smile at people? What is good about opening the door for a guest? When we get down to their level and invest our energy in their spiritual growth, we do what Moshe did when he physically put together the pieces of the Mishkan so that every Jew can have a place to connect to Hashem.

This Shabbos, take the time to explain to your children the beauty of their connection to Hashem. “Every time you make a bracha, you are bringing so much light to our house!” Model for them and get involved—and remember, you are helping them build their own personal “Mishkan”.

May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Third Bais Hamikdash with the coming of Moshiach Now!

Ki Sisa

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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