The pasuk says:

הצור תמים פעלו
Whatever Hashem makes is perfect.

We know from the Gemara that there are 3 partners in the creation of a human being: Hashem and the person’s two parents.

If what Hashem creates is perfect, it stands to reason that the imperfections we find in our children stem from us. Often what makes chinuch so hard is because in a very deep way it is very personal: our children represent our best and worse. Of course they have bechira, but the seeds of their behavior, their middos, are passed over. N some level we all know this, and perhaps that’s why chinuch scares us. On the other hand, our own chesronos also come from our parents, and it is those that are passed down. This can be traced all the way back to Adom HaRishon and the original chet, taking a different form down the generations, influenced by an individual’s society and bechira. Perhaps this is what we mean by “yeridos hadoros”. However, while Hashems works are perfect, ours were never meant to be. Though imperfect, Hashem still chose us as his partners in creating life. It stands to reason then that our job is not necessarily to completely fix ourselves, our parents, and children, but rather to do our best, trust in Hashem to take care of the rest, and appreciate the zechus we have that Hashem chose us to partner with despite our chesronos. This attitude takes off a lot of the perceived pressures and anxieties of chinuch.

We are not perfect, and neither are our kids. Let’s use this chag as an opportunity to celebrate our gratitude to Hashems perfection and how he graciously lets us be a part of it. Let us not allow ourselves this chag to be overcome by our fears and expectations of our children, help them be who Hashem made them to be, and love them unconditionally, the way we hope Hashem did on Yom Kippur.

Chag Sameach,

Ari Deutscher