Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thoughts On Why I Am My Age & Inspired Parenting

A recent e-mail conversation with Mr. Uberdox reminded me that I wanted to share this story from this past Shabbos.

On Shabbos my 4 year old asked me how old I was. I told her my age. She asked me why I was that age. Thinking that it was a bit of a silly question, I answered her that it was because I was born exactly that many years ago. But right after I said it, I realized that that was the wrong answer. The real reason I'm 31 is because Hashem wanted me to be the age that I am today, as part of his plan for my Neshoma in this world. Therefore, he arranged it so that I would be born exactly that many years before today in order to work it out so that I would be just exactly that age right now. My being born that many years ago is not the cause, explaning why I am a certain age today. But rather, the fact that Hashem wanted me to be that age today is the reason why He arranged that I would be born a certain number of years prior to today.

This mind-bending, but more correct, answer to the question of why I am the age that I am, comes from the explanation of R' Tzvi Meir Zilberberg from a Kuntres on parenting as explained by Rav Moshe Weinberger in some fantastic tapes on parenting, called Inspired Parenting. I think that everyone who has kids or who will ever have kids or who is working in education must listen to these 10 shiurim! You can read about what these tapes have done for others at A Simple Jew, Modern Uberdox and Jewish Blogmeister.

-Dixie Yid

-Picture courtesy of


A Simple Jew said...

I think it is about time for me to listen to these shiurim once again. By the way, the reference I posted recently to Rabbi Weinberger and how to listen to Chassidic stories came from CD #10 from this series.

Neil Harris said...

Glad to see that some good come from Email.

This series is truly amazing. Each time I listen I glean new thing and, hopefully, become a better parent. Thanks for linking.

Anonymous said...

By the way the Shiurim,Are avalibile on Kol Halashon in New York: 1718-906-6400

Anonymous said...

If you did not have the daily responsibilities to learn Torah and attend minyanim could you be a better father?

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


Thanks for the thoughful question. I can definitely see how it might seem outwardly like that might be the case... more time out of the house = less time with the children = not as good of a father.

However, I would actually be a worse father if I didn't go to daily minyanim and sedorim. My kids know that I get up very early in the morning (hours before they get up) to learn before davening. They also know that I (almost) always daven with a minyan. That teaches them a couple of things that they wouldn't get without those commitments. They see that commitment to Yiddishkeit and mitzvos is not only an obligation (which they are taught to keep as well by observing my commitment to it) but also that it is the most important and enjoyable part of my life. That teaches them that Yiddishkeit is not a burden but a privilge and a pleasure to their parents, and hopefully by example, to them as well.

Are they sometimes sad to see me go to minyan or that I am not there when they wake up? Sure. But that temporary discomfort is small in comparison to the lessons it teaches them, which help inform who they are as human beings and as Jews. And educating my children by influencing attitudes about commitment to the obligations and pleasures of Judaism is my first obligation as a parent. Besides, since I'm around less, they're even happier during the times I am around. If I was always present with them so many hours a day, then almost none of the time would be special and they wouldn't see me being commited to anything greater than myself and my family, which would be a bad lesson.

Hope that helps!

-Dixie Yid

A Simple Jew said...

Dixie Yid: Your last comment could be a posting all by itself :)