Va'eira (Exodus 6:2-9:35 )
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GOOD MORNING! A psychologist once said, "before I got married I didn't understand why there is so much child abuse; after I had children I wondered why there is so little." While any amount of child abuse is too much, most parents will agree that raising children is at minimum very challenging. Small children, small problems; big children, big problems. It is the only job that by the time you're trained ... you're out of a job. Here is an interesting piece from "Quote Magazine" (September 1, 1985) about what children want from parents. They surveyed children 8 to 14 years old in 24 countries. Here are the top 10 wanted behaviors:
WHAT CHILDREN WANT
It appears that these children want what all of us want - respect, consideration and love. They are excellent traits to practice, not only with our children, but with anyone! It has been said that a parent only owes his child three things: example, example and example. Perhaps the following piece will give some insight into what kids learn from us:
IF A CHILD LIVES WITH
If a child lives with criticism .... he learns to condemn.
What is your child living with?
Torah Portion of the Week
Here begins the story of the Ten Plagues which God put upon the
not only to effect the release of the Jewish people from bondage, but to
show the world that He is the God of all of creation and history. The
first nine plagues are divisible into three groups:
- The water turning to blood, frogs, lice.
- Wild beasts, pestilence/epidemic, boils.
- Hail, locust, and darkness.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that these were punishments measure for measure for afflicting the Jewish people with slavery. The first of each group reduced Egyptians in their own land to the insecurity of strangers, the second of each group robbed them of pride, possessions and a sense of superiority; the third in each group imposed physical suffering.
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And the Lord spoke to Moshe and Aharon and He commanded them about the Children of Israel and about Pharaoh, King of Egypt."
What did the Almighty command Moses and Aaron?
The Talmud Yerushalmi (tractate Rosh Hashanah 3:5) tells us that God commanded Moshe and Aharon to tell the Children of Israel to heed their obligation of freeing slaves on the jubilee year. At first glance, it seems difficult to understand the necessity of teaching this law while the Jewish nation was still enslaved in Egypt, since the laws of the Hebrew slave were to apply only once they possessed slaves, after entering the land of Israel.
It must be understood that the slavery the Torah speaks about here is probably better translated as an indentured servant. When a person was down and out and caught stealing, he was sold into a maximum of 7 years indentured servitude. The Talmud teaches that one who acquires a slave acquires a master for himself. If there is one pillow, the slave gets it. The slave can only be given meaningful and time limited activities. By being placed in a functional family, the Torah has created a social services setting for his rehabilitation.
Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz explains that at this particular moment the people were enslaved; they felt the anguish of slavery and yearned for freedom. They should remember this very feeling when they themselves would have slaves, and should not hesitate to free them. Whenever a person suffers, he should remember this feeling when he is called upon to help someone else in a similar situation.
A story to illustrate the importance of empathy: One cold winter day, Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Miesel went to the home of a wealthy person to ask him to donate money to warm the home of a poor family. When the wealthy person saw Rabbi Miesel approaching, he ran outside to greet him. Assuming that the Rabbi would immediately enter his house, he did not bother to put on his coat. Rav Eliyahu Chaim, however, began to talk with him at length, ignoring his repeated invitations to come inside. Finally, when the wealthy man was shivering from cold, Rabbi Miesel entered his home and said, "I have to ask you for money to warm the home of a poor family. Since your home is always warm and you own a heavy fur coat, you might not understand what if means to suffer from the cold. Now that you have felt the discomfort of feeling cold, you will surely give generously."
CANDLE LIGHTING - January 7:
(or go to http://www.aish.com/candlelighting)
Guatemala 5:29 Hong Kong 5:37 Honolulu 5:46
J'Burg 6:47 London 3:51 Los Angeles 4:40
Melbourne 7:23 Mexico City 5:59 Miami 5:28
Moscow 4:00 New York 4:27 Singapore 6:56
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
The best present to your child
is your presence