Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


Parents & Passover

posted by David Klinghoffer

Today, a couple of days before Passover, a friend told me something that pained me.

When he was a kid, his father, who was a lawyer, would inform him of how much in billable hours his time was worth, and remind his son that spending time with him was eating up precisely so much in terms of money that might otherwise be earned and spent. That was when my friend was young. But when the father was old and the son was mature, the father had much more time available, and the son, of course, somewhat less.
I don’t believe I’m giving away any confidences. This is an extraordinarily common scenario, so much so that Harry Chapin made a song out of it, “Cat’s In the Cradle,” that always makes me choke up when I hear it on the radio, and I don’t choke up easily. We have five kids, of whom the oldest, Ezra, is seven. Much too often I find myself short of time for my own children.
Isn’t it amazing how when you study the Bible and other holy texts, subjects just seem to “pop up” that are of amazing, direct relevance to what’s going on in your life at that moment? So this morning I was reading a new commentary on the Passover Haggadah, the liturgy of the two seder night meals of the festival, and I came across a beautiful reflection by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik.

He is explaining the passage in the Haggadah about the sages who stayed up all night discussing the Exodus from Egypt, and he asks about the word “sage.” The Talmud describes Moses as a sage, and so, in Jewish mysticism, is God regarded as a sage, so to speak. Speaking is exactly the point. Moses wrote or projected God’s words on the souls of the Jewish people, and God wrapped His own words in the work of creation — our world that was created through speech: “And God said.”
Soloveitchik urges that parents see ourselves as sages or authors. We should regard our children as a kind of book in which we inscribe whatever knowledge of God we have managed to acquire. The night of Passover, with its emphasis on gearing the event to children, “is a symbol for this intergenerational transmission process….Jews are called the Am ha’Sefer, the people of the book, not because they are avid readers, but because each and every Jew is a living book that has been authored by the preceding generations.”
May God help us keep that in mind as we inscribe the book of each of our children’s relationship with eternity.


Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading!

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.