Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Av 5760 - August 30, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by

Opinion & Comment
Hearts of the Fathers, Hearts of Sons

by Chaim Walder

The parents of great talmidei chachomim sometimes tell us about the problems and struggles of their children during childhood and adolescence. Thirty years later, things appear different. One finds himself proud of the difficulties he endured with his child, and of the fears with which he coped. The way to look at life is by seeing it in general, and not from fleeting vantage point. We mustn't look at the weak moments of a child and because of them brand him as weak. The opposite is true. We must equate his behavior during the entire year, to his behavior during bein hazmanim.

These days are days of probation -- the end of the vacation, when all are tired of the comments, of the criticism and quite often of the fights. In time for Elul, it is preferable for the son to return to his father, the mother to her son, and to call a halt to the anger, the criticism and to clear the air, so that the child will be able to return during Elul with the knowledge that his parents think highly of him and have expectations from him.

Let us conclude with the idea which I heard from Reb Usher Porush, the rosh yeshiva of Nesivos Hatalmud.

It is written, "as water face to face, so is the heart of man to man." If such is the case, why are there situations in which the father loves his son while the son doesn't reciprocate that love, but rather causes him sorrow.

He explained: Water is essentially a mirror which reflects reality. A person can see reality only if the mirror faces him. If he is standing at a different angle, he won't see a thing. Sometimes, the mirror will even blind him and bother him.

"A son and a father," says Rav Porush, "love each other, but since they are not standing on the same level, they may not see each other. The may mirror blind the father or the son. In order for the mirror to reflect reality and the feelings that exist between father and son, one of them has to adjust himself on the other's level. Because we are speaking about differences in height, it is usually the taller one who should square himself, because the shorter one simply can't do raise himself as easily.

Parents should lower themselves a bit, not from a spiritual standpoint, but rather they should lower the point from which they observe their child, in order to stand face to face with him from a conceptual point of view. If they do that, the rule of "as water face to face, so the heart of man to man" will prevail.

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.