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Thursday, 14 March, 2013 - 11:10 pm

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!

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