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He didn't love her!

Friday, 30 April, 2021 - 8:07 am

It is said that “the greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother”, meaning, there is no better form of education than role modeling. Parents can babble all we want about ethics, morals, and ideas, but if our children see us living differently than those espoused values, they won’t live up to anything we preach. We live in a time when education has been tarnished by never-ending testing and homework, and while these mechanisms may not be a bad idea, they aren’t infallible and they only help us know about the students’ knowledge, not their internalization of the teachings.

In our Torah portion, Emor, we read about the priestly Kohanic laws. Rashi, the preeminent biblical commentator explains that the double wording “Emor” and “Ve’Amarta”, which both mean “to speak to”, is to teach the older Kohanim that they must always instruct, illuminate the path, and inspire the younger Kohanim to be on track. Unrealistic parental expectations are futile and only set parents up for disappointment, but we must still give them the best shot in life by role modeling for them what a productive life, a healthful Jewish life, looks like, which doesn’t happen by giving them speeches, rather by showing them what we value.

The Talmud relates that when Rabbi Akiva, the man of Lag B’Omer, came home after being away for twenty-four years teaching Torah, he was escorted by an entourage of his students. His wife, Rachel, dressed in her simple house clothes, went out to greet him and fell before his feet. It creates a scene – an elderly woman thrusting herself before the great rabbi Akiva surrounded by scores of devoted students. They move to push her away, but Rabbi Akiva stops them, uttering a line which has since become legendary: “Leave her. What is mine and what is yours is hers.” He didn’t just love his wife, he respected her, he honored her, this is healthy role modeling.

Love is cheap; respect is the name of the game!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach 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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