Toldot 5762

June 23, 2009

5 min read


Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9 )

GOOD MORNING!  My father always says that "Free advice is worth what you pay for it." Here is an exception to that rule. The following is 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)


Two important principles for interacting with your children are:

1)  Know and follow the values you want your children to live with.

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 his 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!

Portion of the Week


Rivka (Rebecca) gives birth to Esav (Esau) and Ya'akov (Jacob). Esav sells the birthright to Ya'akov for a bowl of lentil soup. Yitzhak (Isaac) sojourns in Gerar with Avimelech, king of the Philistines. Esav marries two Hittite women, bringing great pain to his parents (because they weren't of the fold).

Ya'akov impersonates Esav on the counsel of his mother in order to receive the blessing for the oldest son by his blind father, Yitzhak. Esav, angry because of his brother's deception which caused him to lose the first born blessings, plans to kill Ya'akov, so Ya'akov flees to his uncle Lavan (Laban) in Padan Aram -- on the advice of his parents. They also advise him to marry Lavan's daughter.

Esav understands that his Canaanite wives are displeasing to his parents, so he marries a third wife, Machlath, the daughter of Ishmael.


Dvar Torah
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, "And Yitzhak called Ya'akov, and blessed him, and commanded him saying, 'You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan' " (Genesis 28:1). What is the connection between Yitzhak blessing his son and then admonishing him?

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, a great rabbi of the last generation, commented that we learn from here the most effective manner in which to reproach someone. Show that you truly care about his welfare; he will more readily listen to your reprimand.

Often people who mean well give reproof in a harsh manner or by yelling -- particularly if the recipient is one's own child. Every person wants to do the right thing. If we can focus on our love for the other person, our desire to genuinely help and our knowledge that the other person wants to be good, then we can speak softly and give admonition which will be heard.

CANDLE LIGHTING - November 16:
(or go to

Jerusalem  4:03
Guatemala 5:12  Hong Kong 5:22  Honolulu 5:31
J'Burg 6:17  London 3:50  Los Angeles 4:31
Melbourne 7:52  Miami 5:14  Moscow 4:04

New York 4:19  Singapore  6:33


Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you.
-- William Arthur

In Loving Memory of
my grandmother
Etta Schneider Dickoff

Alan B. Schneider

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