Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Kislev 29
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If the Chanukah lights were extinguished because they were lit in a place where a wind could be expected, one is obliged to relight them (Mishnah Berurah 673:25).

Although we are not obligated to relight the Chanukah candles if they are accidentally extinguished, this rule does not apply if the condition could have been foreseen.

In civil law, a person may be held liable for failure to take proper precautions that would prevent a mishap. This concept also holds for spiritual and moral issues as well. While parents may not be able to control the behavior of their children and cannot be held responsible for whatever decisions the children make in their lives, they can and must provide their children with the education and guidance that will enable them to choose wisely and properly.

Many parents who failed to provide their children with a sound Torah education have expressed deep regret for this omission when their children intermarried. Although they may not have been observant, they nevertheless wished their grandchildren to have a Jewish identity, and they realized too late that the most effective way to discourage intermarriage is to practice the mitzvos. We have had many variations of, "If we had to do it over again, we would observe kosher, if not because of our own convictions, then to maintain our children within the Jewish fold."

We cannot cut down on intermarriage by hoping that our children will not wish to disappoint us, but by creating a life-style for ourselves and for our children that makes intermarriage inconceivable. If we are lax in foresight, we cannot shirk the responsibility for the consequences.

Today I shall...

try to consider the long-term consequences of my behavior, and try to foresee the problems that may occur if I simply do what is most convenient for me now.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...


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