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My Moment of Shame!

Friday, 24 January, 2020 - 8:15 am

I don’t want to be like Pharaoh.

Yesterday morning, I lost my cool and raised my voice at three of our children. I was frustrated about the repetitive breaking of valuable tech items, and instead of staying calm and dealing with them like a sensible father and mature adult, I dropped the ball. Fifteen minutes later, after realizing how wrong it was, I was taken over by deep shame. I sat the kiddos down, told them how embarrassed I felt, apologized profusely for my behavior and asked them for their forgiveness. It wasn’t my finest moment, but Chavie reassured me and reminded me how important it was that I was transparent with them and vulnerable in our conversation.

In this week’s Torah portion, Va’eira, we read about a fellow who could’ve easily ended the horror plaguing his nation, but he was stubborn and dug his heels into his wayward ways. Sure, G-d implanted his stubbornness, but he could’ve made a wise choice or two and freed the Hebrews, and he didn’t. instead of internalizing the damage his country was experiencing, instead of doing what was in the best interest of his people, including his family, he chose power over courage, ego over humility, and at the end, Egypt was left with nothing.

An empire destroyed due to an unwillingness to change.

No question, the kids needed to be reminded not to mistreat their “stuff”, but the way I initially went about it was wrong and, potentially, harmful. If I, as an adult, don’t like people screaming at me, why should young beautiful children incur that? Yet, I also did something that I hope will remind me never to raise my voice again and that I hope they will remember later in life: I sat them down, expressed to them my deepest remorse and allowed them to see my humanity. We cried, we hugged, we laughed, and I was forgiven. I haven’t recovered from my shame, but I will, and hopefully be a better dad. I’d rather they remember me as their humble Moses than their arrogant Pharaoh.

In the words of Brene Brown “Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It's the magic sauce!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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