Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Our Children Become The Messengers

(Picture courtesy of Sandu Mendrea)

As a father has compassion on his children, so does Hashem have compassion on those who fear Him. (Tehillim 103:13).

This pasuk of Tehillim came to my mind after my two oldest children threw a huge temper tantrum on Sunday morning. Once the dust settled, I sat down in my chair and relished a bit of the silence and tried to calm myself. The silence was broken within seconds and along with the outburst came a demand to go to Krispy Kreme for donuts.

What??! A donut as a reward for misbehaving?? Now, THAT is chutzpa!

K'rachem av al banim…

Reflecting on this pasuk brought to mind my own hypocrisy. Do I claim to be free of chutzpa in how I behave with my Father in Heaven? Aren't their myriads of examples of how my actions are not in accordance with His wishes, and yet I still go to Him with a wish list the reaches down to the ground? Who am I trying to fool by pretending that I always behave perfectly?

I recalled a story in which a man came to the Rambam to tell him that he had trouble saying Al Cheit during Yom Kippur and was absolutely convinced that he had not committed all the aveiros listed. The Rambam reproached this man and told him that if he had true understanding of his actions he would know that he had committed each and every one of these aveiros in some way or another during the course of the year.

Pirkei Avos 3:10 states, "One who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to G-d. But one who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to G-d." This means that the manner in which others relate to us is a good barometer to know where we stand in our relationship to Hashem. If we truly believe that everything comes from Hashem, then we must also understand that sometimes our children may become the messengers to tell us that our relationship with our Father is lacking and is in need of correction.

I made a mental note of this message and later took the kids out for donut at Krispy Kreme. Once again, fatherhood taught me a lesson about avodas Hashem.


At June 27, 2007 at 1:01:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is a gem of humble modesty and honest self-awareness. Strikingly simple, beautiful, your words hold a mirror to my own struggles in fatherhood. Yasher koach and hotzlocha in your blogging endeavors.

At June 27, 2007 at 1:03:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you for your words. I am glad to know that my words resonated with at least one person.

At September 23, 2008 at 2:44:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope your children enjoyed the donuts. children know parents are very forgiving, that is why even if they did wrong they know we are still there for them and come to us with requests. its love and trust, and today's world does not seem to have enough of these qualities. blessings.


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