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

Va'eira 5760

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

  1. They want harmony -- their parents should not have unresolved and destructive conflict in front of them.
  2. They want love. They wish to be treated with the same affection as other children in the family.
  3. They want honesty. They do not want to be lied to.
  4. They want acceptance. They desire mutual tolerance from both parents.
  5. They want their parents to like their friends. They want their friends to be welcomed in the home.
  6. They want closeness. They desire comradeship with their parents.
  7. They want their parents to pay attention to them and answer their questions.
  8. They want consideration from their parents -- not to be embarrassed or punished in front of friends.
  9. want positive support -- for parents to concentrate on their good points rather than their weaknesses.
  10. They want consistency. They desire parents to be consistent in their affections and moods.

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

If a child lives with criticism ................he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility .................he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear .......................he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with jealousy.................he learns to feel guilt.
If a child lives with tolerance ..............he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement .....he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with praise ....................he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance ...........he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval ...............he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition ............he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty .................he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness .................he learns justice.
If a child lives with security .................he learns to trust in himself and others.
If a child lives with friendliness ............he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.

What is your child living with?


Torah Portion of the Week
Vaera

Here begins the story of the Ten Plagues which G-d 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 G-d of all of 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. 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.

 

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states that during the plague of hail Pharaoh said to Moshe, "Entreat the Lord that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer." (Exodus 9:28). Though Pharaoh made this commitment, he didn't let them go. Did he intend to trick or lie to Moshe?

Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz comments that "Pharaoh honestly meant what he said at the time when he said it. He was not mocking Moshe. Under the influence of the suffering of the plague he was greatly changed. Afterwards when the plague was removed, he completely forgot about his good intentions.

"This is the tendency of people. When a person is in the midst of great suffering and under a lot of pressure, he can have very high ideals. He will make all kinds of lofty promises without any limit. As soon as his situation improves, he is so entirely different that it is hard to recognize him as being the same person as before."

When you find yourself in a difficult situation and make resolutions to improve yourself, remember those resolutions later on. Make an effort to grow from difficult situations by remembering your insights and by making the promised changes in your life.

Published: January 18, 2000

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