9 Cheshvan 5781 / Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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Star of the Show, 2    

Star of the Show, 2

Our daughters will remain pure and innocent for as long as mothers allow them to. It is up to a mother to be the trail guide of...


Star of the Show, part 2
And then finally, the great moment arrived. The Rebbetzen of the shul had gone up on stage and the girls were directed by their teachers, one by one, towards the Rebbetzen, who received them each with a loving pat on the cheek or head; she then handed them a siddur whilst giving them a brochoh.
Each little girl kissed the siddur and clasped it to her heart, her face utterly radiant and alight with joy, at the absolute treasure she had just received. The teachers had prepared the girls well for this occasion, so that each little girl "truly understood" the value of the siddur she clasped so lovingly. The girls had been taught that the siddur is the key to a whole new world which has now been unlocked for them. They truly believe that all the doors to Hashem are wide open and all their prayers will immediately be heard and answered; (and Hashem always does "hear" and "answer" our prayers and requests, but with our "mortal eyes" we cannot always see or understand His "answer").
And we mothers and grandmothers, who at this stage of our lives really do understand the value of that siddur and the prayers within it, also radiated with joy and shed a few tears of joy that we merited to be a part of this. At that moment it seemed that our fervent hopes that our granddaughters follow in the path we have so painstakingly trodden for them was being fulfilled; they too are now joining the ranks of all the girls and women whose prayers have been so potent throughout the generations.
And as I watched my granddaughter receiving her siddur, I sent up a silent prayer to Hashem that He watch over her, that she should always be well and healthy and follow in the tried and tested footsteps of our forefathers …….. and then I sighed.
I sighed because it passed through my mind – how long will these little girls remain with that perfect innocence, that rapture and joy, at possessing a siddur.
Ladies, I will tell you - they will remain pure and innocent for as long as we mothers allow them to. It is up to us as the trail guides of our children, whether they keep the perspective they have learnt from their teachers, or discard it within a short space of time. If we show, by our actions and deeds that we cherish the siddur for the treasure it truly is, as the "key" to Hashem's "ear" at all times, our children will do the same. It is we, without almost any conscious effort on our part, who set the tone of our home and direct our children's footsteps on the path we want them to tread.
Children are very astute and very soon understand what is really important to us, notwithstanding what we attempt to teach them. Anything we want them to accept, must first be accepted, i.e. believed in and practiced, by us.
If, for instance, we teach our children that the spiritual aspect of our lives, the Torah learning and mitzvos, are the most important thing in our lives, and yet when dealing with these subjects we act calmly and tepidly we transmit to our children that this is how we value these subjects.
But if, when we are dealing with the material side of our lives, things that are supposedly not so important, (like buying a new dress or sheitel for instance, or decorating a house) and we relate to these subjects with enthusiasm and discuss them with excitement, our children will very quickly understand without a word ever having being said, what is truly important to us. If our words and actions differ from each other, our children will not absorb our words, they will absorb our actions, i.e. our value systems;
In the end our value systems will be our children's value systems.
Our beliefs and actions are silent but extremely powerful teachers, and children unconsciously internalize these lessons very deeply.
Many a time I've heard mothers say, "Well I would certainly like my children to be better than me". But ladies what do you think, that this happens by itself? IT WILL ONLY HAPPEN IF YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN!
What it boils down to, is that whatever you want your children to be, you must first be yourself. You have to role model anything you want your children to absorb or do, and believe me they are quick learners!
You might feel that that's too difficult; and it is true it's not easy to change any of one's habits and lifestyle.
But if you tell yourself that you are doing it in order to be a role model for your children it becomes easier; you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing this, like everything else you do, for the sake of your children (and at the same time, without even realizing it you will be working on yourself as well).
Another of the ways to make it easier is not to implement too many changes together, but to institute only one change at a time. You concentrate on one point for a few weeks until it becomes a habit and part of your life, and is not a strain anymore. When it has become a habit you can then undertake the next change you want to make, work at it for a few weeks ……… and so on.
It might take time to work this way but it is a surer guarantee of success than if you were to make too many changes at once. It all becomes too great a burden and in the end will be dropped altogether as being too difficult to accomplish.
To end, I want to wish you all, wonderful Yiddishe mothers wherever you are, the greatest success in all your endeavors. May you go from strength to strength in your vital role of building the next generation of Klal Yisroel, and May Hashem give you the power to give Him joy.

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