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November 6, 2014

Supporting your children

by Rabbi Dovid Felt

Breakfast at Valley Torah can be captivating. If one were to close their eyes and let their mind travel across the ocean one may end up in the Midrachov on the Bezalel pedestrian mall off Rehov Shmuel Hanagid where haggling and battering are the norm. (PS. it is a great place for authentic arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, artwork, as well as local authentic foods at reasonable prices). Back to Valley Village you’ll find bagels and eggs prepared for the discerning palate. You will also find waffles, toast and cheese, pretzels and it goes without saying, delicious desserts such as churros and doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

The tantalizing array of breakfast foods may distract one from not recognizing the preparation that goes into having these wares ready to go the minute the Dvar Halacha is over, when a deluge of hungry young men, looking for a source of energy to help get them through of morning of intense learning, descend. Donning my anthropology hat I set about to find out who are the heroes behind the scene. Well, there is a story behind each food stall and I will share with you one such story. This is about a mother who gets up early in the morning before her children can get a whiff of her departure and makes a dash to the store to pick up the necessary items for her son to have and take on his way to school. She does this because she supports and wants to encourage her son’s entrepreneurial desires and it is her way of recognizing his contribution in assisting her with his sibling at times that he is not at school and has no school obligations. When I heard this, it all made sense, I now understood where this boy got the courage, confidence and work ethic to run a successful small business at such a tender age. It was because of the foundation of love and care that he was raised in

As I was reading the Parsha about Avrohom Avinu I could not help but wonder where Avrohom got the strength to achieve all that he did? My instincts lead to me to find out more about his father Terach. In as much as Avrohom was his own person and a self-made one to boot, there had to be someone who instilled the moral fiber that Avrohom used to stand up for his values and be ready to die for them.

Perusing the Midrashim I may have found the answer. The Medrash tells us that Terach, was the chief officer or minister of the King Nimrod and on the night that Avrohom was born Nimrod’s stargazers told him that Terach’s newly born son would one day be a danger to his throne. Nimrod ordered Terach to send him the baby, to be put to death. Terach, putting his life as well as his standing with the king on the line, outwitted the king but had to send baby Avraham with his mother and a nurse, into hiding for ten years. During that time Terach would get up early before anyone could get hint of his departure and provide for wife and son. Perhaps, this dedicated love and care is the answer to the source of Avrohom’s strength.

Felt Tips

It is Shabbaton season – your son is spending Shabbos away from home. Two little thoughts come to mind (they can be adapted very easily to many other situations) first, leave a note in his suitcase or weekend bag – it doesn’t have to be that mushy or gushy but it should express that you will miss him and that you hope he will have a great time. Second, if he is staying as a guest, send a little token of appreciation with him for the host – it will help him feel good about being a guest.

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