Shmot (Exodus 1:1-6:1 )
GOOD MORNING! I don't believe I have ever heard anyone say, "Gee, raising kids sure is easy!" It has been said that being a parent is the only occupation that when you are finally experienced - you are out of a job. Though it is a cute thought, I don't think parents are ever out of a job. They are always needed and important!
The following precepts set forth by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin can help us to nurture our children:
For more on "Parenting" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!
Torah Portion of the Week
This week's portion tells a story often repeated throughout history: The Jews become prominent and numerous. There arises a new king in Egypt "who did not know Joseph" (meaning he chose not to know Joseph or recognize any debt of gratitude). He proclaims slavery for the Jewish people "lest they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving (us) from the land." (Anti-Semitism can thrive on any excuse; it need not be logical or real - check out our online seminar "Why the Jews?" at http://www.aish.com/seminars/anti-semitism/index.html . It's spectacular!)
Moshe (Moses) is born and immediately hidden because of the decree to kill all male Jewish babies. Moses is saved by Pharaoh's daughter, grows up in the royal household, goes out to see the plight of his fellow Jews. He kills an Egyptian who was beating a Jew, escapes to Midian when the deed becomes known, becomes a shepherd, and then is commanded by God at the Burning Bush to "bring My people out of Egypt." Moses returns to Egypt, confronts Pharaoh who refuses to give permission for the Israelites to leave. And then God says, "Now you will begin to see what I will do to Pharaoh!"
* * *
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And the King of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one was Shifrah and the name of the second was Puah" (Exodus 1:15).
Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, an eleventh century French commentator, informs us that Shifrah was a second name for Yocheved, Moses' mother. She was called Shifrah because she did things for the betterment (the meaning of the Hebrew word "Shifrah" is to "make better") of the infants in her care. Puah was another name for Miriam, Moses' sister. She was called Puah because of the comforting sounds ("poo, poo...") she would make to the infants as mothers do to calm a crying baby. Why, however, does the Torah give a second name?
Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz, a Torah luminary who taught in the Mir Yeshiva, comments that when the Torah calls someone by a certain name it is because that name represents the essence of the person. The fact that Yocheved and Miriam were called by names that show how they helped the infants both physically and emotionally, means that this was an integral part of their very being. We see from here that what might appear to be minor actions can be part of an elevated level that will comprise the entire person.
When you experience love and compassion for others, you are emulating the attributes of the Almighty. The greater your act of kindness, the more elevated you become. A child who experiences warmth and love grows up to be a more loving person. This early conditioning will have life-long positive effects. Such a child will find it much easier to feel love for the Almighty and love for his fellow man. Whenever you make a young child feel good, be aware of the extent of your kindness. The deeper your appreciation for the chesed (kindness) you are doing, the more elevated you become!
CANDLE LIGHTING - January 16
(or go to http://www.aish.com/shabbat/candlelighting.asp)
Guatemala 5:35 - Hong Kong 5:43 - Honolulu 5:53
J'Burg 6:46 - London 4:04 - Los Angeles 4:49
Melbourne 8:26 - Mexico City 6:01 - Miami 5:34
New York 4:36 - Singapore 6:58 - Toronto 4:49
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Don't worry that your kids
don't always listen to you...
worry that they're always
-- Robert Fulghum
In Honor of
Lynn & Paul Leight
In Loving Memory of
Rena Rachel Rivka
by Nathan Zemel
Rabbi Kalman Packouz
Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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