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Va'eira 5775

Va'eira (Exodus 6:2-9:35 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING!   My father always says that "Free advice is worth what you pay for it". The following is an exception to that rule regarding parenting -- which is perhaps the only job where by the time you are trained you are out of the job.

What Are Important Ideas For Raising Children?

Two important principles for interacting with your children are: 1) Know and follow the values you want your children to live with and 2) Understand them from their point of view.

Parents should list the main values and principles for living that they want their children to master. (Actually, this is good advice for all human beings -- it gives insight into what you consider to be of the highest importance.) What specific positive traits do you want your children to have? Make a list for each child.

A parent who is confident with himself and his values, and creates a loving relationship with his children will find that his children will listen to him. When telling your children to do or not to do something, your voice needs to show confidence that you expect your children to listen to what you say. If you sound as if you don't really expect your children to listen to you, they will pick up your non-verbal message and are likely to not listen.

Be clear and specific when telling your children what they should or should not do. Telling a child to "be good" is so vague and general that it is not likely to be effective.

When you see things from your child's point of view, you will be careful to respect his feelings and thoughts. This will give your children a sense of self-respect and respect for others.

Think about how you wanted to be treated when you were a child. Taking individual differences into consideration, act that way towards your children. Keep in mind that no child ever wants to be insulted or ridiculed by their parents; you didn't as a child, neither do your children now.

Don't threaten your children. When you threaten a child, you create unnecessary anxiety and fear. If you make threats that you both know you won't keep, you are teaching them not to take what you say seriously. Threats automatically imply that you think there is a possibility that your children will not listen to you.

Never give your children negative labels. Negative labels create negative self-image which is highly destructive.

Interacting with your children gives you many opportunities to develop you own character. Some of the essential attributes to focus on are: patience, humility, empathy, compassion, perseverance and resilience. Bring out the best in each child. What more can you do that you are not yet doing?

Don't expect perfection when interacting with your children. Everyone makes mistakes. If you feel that you have made mistakes in the past, begin again now. Be totally committed to creating a loving relationship with each of your children!

Don't fulfill your child's every request. Deny your children something at least once a day. Life is tough. You want to train your child to deal with difficulties and disappointments -- not to expect that every whim and desire will be fulfilled. Unfulfilled expectations are the source of most misery.

(adapted from Begin Again Now -- Encyclopedia of Strategies for Living by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin -- available from your local Jewish book store, or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242)


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Torah Portion of the week

Va'eira, Exodus 6:2 - 9:35

Here begin the story of the Ten Plagues which God put upon the Egyptians not only to effect the release of the Jewish people from bondage, but to show the world that He is the God of all creation and history. The first nine plagues are divisible into three groups: 1) the water turning to blood, frogs, lice 2) wild beasts, pestilence/epidemic, boils 3) hail, locust, and darkness.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that these were punishments measure for measure for afflicting the Jewish people with slavery: 1) The first of each group reduced Egyptians in their own land to the insecurity of strangers. 2) The second of each group robbed them of pride, possessions and a sense of superiority. 3) The third in each group imposed physical suffering.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states that:

"Moshe (Moses) spoke thus (that the Almighty will take you out, rescue you, redeem you with great judgments, take you for a people, be a God to you and bring you into the land of Israel) to the Children of Israel and they did not listen to Moshe because of anguish of spirit and hard work." (Exodus 6:9)

Why didn't the Jewish people listen inasmuch as Moshe was giving them such fabulous news?

Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen, in his commentary Meshech Chochmah, explains that they did not listen to the message that Moshe gave them because when someone is suffering very much, all he wants to hear is that his suffering will be removed. He is not yet ready to hear that he will have good fortune and much success in the future. If someone paints a too positive picture of the future, it is so far removed from his present reality that he will not be able to relate to it. Therefore, we read in verse 6:13 that the Almighty told Moshe to just tell them that they will be taken out of Egypt, without any mention a bright future.

This is an important principle when trying to give people emotional support and encouragement. If you give a picture that is beyond their present ability to relate to, your words will not be comforting even if you have very good intentions. Telling someone who is in deep emotional distress, "Don't worry all will be well in the future" might not have a positive effect. Show the person how to get out of the present pain and only then will you be able to give more optimistic messages!


Our hearts go out to the victims of Terror in France and to their families, friends and community.

- - -

Noting France's pressure on Israel and support for a Palestinian state, one pundit wrote, " The attack only underscores the need for France to immediately engage in negotiations with French Muslims that will result in the creation of two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace and security, with Paris as a shared capital..."


SPECIAL OFFER: The Genesis One Code Kindle e-book --which demonstrates a clear alignment between the times of key events described in the Genesis with those derived from scientific observation. Monday, January 19th ONLY -- 99 cents.


Candle Lighting Times

January 16
(or go to

Jerusalem 4:23
Guatemala 5:35 - Hong Kong 5:43 - Honolulu 5:53
J'Burg 6:46 - London 4:04 - Los Angeles 4:39
Melbourne 8:27 - Mexico City 5:52 - Miami 4:38
New York 4:22- Singapore 6:58 - Toronto 4:34

Quote of the Week

Two important things to teach a child:
to do and to do without --  Marcelene Cox



In Loving Memory of

Evelyn Framer

Paul, Meri, Lexi &
Parker Zidel
The entire Framer &
Cohen Family


In Memory of My Parents

Toby & Beatrice

and My Great Uncle

Aaron Messinger

son of
Rabbi Jacob Messinger

Betzalel Messinger


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