Friday, May 9, 2008

Satisfaction from Child Raising and Housekeeping - Part 2


SATISFACTION FROM CHILD RAISING AND HOUSEKEEPING
By
Rabbi Chaim Morgenstern
Part 2

(You can see Part 1 here)

A Career of Chesed

Children give their parents much more than nachas in this world; each child has the ability to merit their parents nitzchius –eternal reward in the next world.
From the day one when a child is born, the Jewish mother embarks on an incredible career of doing chesed. Just to think about the myriad chasadim of feeding, diapering, dressing, kissing, cuddling, hugging, comforting and bathing that she does during the day is mind-boggling. To get a glimpse of the proportions that we are talking about, an average of 8 diapers changed per day totals almost 3,000 changes a year.

Moreover, each second of caring is another mitzvah. Thus, when adding all the sleepless nights spent tending to a crying or sick child and the moments that a mother is in the home so that the child doesn’t feel alone brings us to figures beyond our comprehension, especially when we multiply this by each child in the family. This constant caring also develops many noble qualities and middos tovos such as self-sacrifice, responsibility, patience, loyalty, persistence, creative talent and similar gems of achievement that she will pass on to her children.

Moreover, all of these chassadim are only part of the picture, since each one of them involves numerous preparations. Take the simple act of preparing vegetable soup for dinner. First, the mother must go to the store to buy vegetables which involves selecting, weighing and paying. Then she brings them home, washes and peels them, puts them on the fire, seasons them and cooks them. Then, she serves her family, puts the extras in the refrigerator and finally, washes the utensils.

Thus, the mother can be termed as a “24/7 chesed machine.”

Furthermore, when a mother sends her children off to school and cares for their well being to enable them to continue in their Torah studies, she receives a special reward in olam haba (Brachos 17a, Rashi ad loc.). The Rama compares her to the tribe of Yisaschar, who shared Zevulun’s share in Torah by supporting him, (Y. D. 246:6).

Perpetual Rewards in the Next World

Chazal say that when a person dies and leaves behind a child like him (i.e. shomer Torah and mitzvos) he is termed as “resting.” However, if he doesn’t, he is considered “dead” (Bava Basra 116b). The Maharsha explains “resting” to mean that it is as if he didn’t die and is resting in a state of sleep. This can be understood by the words of Rabbeinu Yona who writes that when parents are in the next world and their children are learning Torah and fulfilling the mitzvos, it is as if the parents are still alive and fulfilling mitzvos (Iggeres Hateshuva #79). Moreover, the Menoras Hamoar writes that children have the unique ability to free their parents from the punishment of Gehinnom (Third ner #87). This concept explains why, on Rosh Hashana, the Sifrei Maisim – books of the dead – are opened even though they are not judged. Hashem observes the descendants of the deceased to see if they are going in the way of the Torah in order to further merit them in the next world.

A child’s special ability to merit his parents posthumously is underscored by the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (26:22) who writes, “The most meritorious mitzvos that children can do for their deceased parents is not the reciting of Kadish and davening for the amud, but to go in the proper path (of being a shomer Torah and mitzvos).”
(Click here for Part 3)

(Picture courtesy of etc.usf.edu)

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Parshas Emor
וְכִי-תִזְבְּחוּ זֶבַח-תּוֹדָה לַיהוָה לִרְצֹנְכֶם תִּזְבָּחוּ
The Posuk structure is very strange what does it mean "When you give a Korban it should be willingly? The answer is Profound the Korban we are referring to is a Todah which is given after going through a life threatening experience. The person might say to himself, why should I thank God After all the reason I got out of this situation is because God put me into this situation? The Posuk foresees this situation and says no that is not the case you must give it לִרְצֹנְכֶם, and you must recognize that even though in your limited life view it was a negative experience your belief in Hashem tells you needed it.
בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי הַזֶּה חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים לַיהוָה
וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים
The Sefer Bnei Yissachar has some very interesting Remazim for Succos. It is said that the Lulav includes all of the Torah. The Bnei Yissachar Illustrates this point .The Torah starts with the word בְּרֵאשִׁית and ends with the words לְעֵינֵי כָּל-יִשְׂרָאֵלthe navi starts with וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי מוֹת מֹשֶׁה and ends in Divrie Hayomim with אֱלֹהָיו עִמּוֹ וְיָעַל you put together the last and first letters you get Lulav. It is also interesting to note that Lulav is an Acronym for the words וטהר לבנו לעבדך באמת take the first letters and again you have Lulav. Another interesting one comes from the word Sukkah the structure of the letters can actually teach you the Halachos of how many walls are required to have a kosher Sukkah. There are 3 types of Kosher Succos one a Samech which has 4 walls first letter of the word Sukkah. Then a Mem which has three and half walls the second type of kosher Sukkah and then a Heh 2 and a partial wall the Third type of Kosher Sukkah and making up the word Sukkah.
וּקְרָאתֶם בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם כָּל-מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ חֻקַּת עוֹלָם בְּכָל-מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם
The Posuk makes a very strange comment "and you call in middle of this day" what is its significance? The Brisker Rav answers based on a Rambam months are sanctified based on two witnesses. It would happen every once in a while that the witnesses would come late and say a while back I saw the moon and it was Rosh Chodesh. The Rambam says in this situation we declare the day the witnesses saw the moon Rosh Chodesh. This means in middle of the day it can theoretically become a day of Yom Tov. This Posuk is talking about Shavous which is not based on Rosh Chodesh but on Sefirah meaning once Pesach happened count Sefirah and in the end is Shavous. Therefore our Posuk says בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה on Shavous is the only day you can be מִקֹדֶשׁ in middle of the day because it is definitely Shavous because Rosh Chodesh does not affect it.

Anonymous said...

דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם מוֹעֲדֵי יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר-תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם מִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ אֵלֶּה הֵם מוֹעֲדָי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ כָּל-מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ שַׁבָּת הִוא לַיהוָה בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם.
Why did this Parsha in the first Posuk start talking about Yom Tov and in the next Posuk talk about Shabbos? The Vilna Gaon provides the answer there are שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים that are from the Torah but you are allowed to do Melacha for food. The first and last day of Pesach make 2 days and a third is one day of Shavous a Fourth is a single day of Rosh Hashanah and then again 2 days of Succos adding up to 6 days that the Torah gave us But then the last Yom Tov is שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן Yom Kippur and Hence the connection of the two Posukim is Explained.
וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
The Posuk seems to be repetitive "do not desecrate my name and I will be holy"? The Posuk is issuing a special warning. The Posuk is addressing certain special situations where there is potential for booth. The airplane minyan has a lot of potential for people who have never seen a davening before to see it first hand and take part aוְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי ְ but on the flip side it also has potential to be תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי with people being inconsiderate to the people sitting in this seats closest to the Minyan. Therefore Hashem in this Posuk is telling us see the Posuk when you go to make a Kiddush Hashem make sure וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי.
דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם מוֹעֲדֵי יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר-תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם מִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ אֵלֶּה הֵם מוֹעֲדָי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ כָּל-מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ שַׁבָּת הִוא לַיהוָה בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם.
Why did this Parsha in the first Posuk start talking about Yom Tov and in the next Posuk talk about Shabbos? The Vilna Gaon provides the answer there are שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים that are from the Torah but you are allowed to do Melacha for food. The first and last day of Pesach make 2 days and a third is one day of Shavous a Fourth is a single day of Rosh Hashanah and then again 2 days of Succos adding up to 6 days that the Torah gave us But then the last Yom Tov is שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן Yom Kippur and Hence the connection of the two Posukim is Explained.

DixieYid said...

Anon, I posted your first dvar Torah on the main page.

Please e-mail me privately at dixieyid(at)gmail.com. These divrei Torah are very nice.

-Dixie Yid