This week I wanted to share 2 midrashim:

The Midrash teaches the halacha: A parent can carry their child on Shabbos even though their child is carrying muktzah. We learn this from Hashem, who “carried” us, his children, in the midbar even though we were holding on to Avodah Zarah. We can learn from this Midrash:

  1. When a child has “Muktzah” the parent shouldn’t label the child a “bosis” for that muktzah and consider the child muktzah himself, rather he is still a child and must be treated as one.
  2. We can (and should from the lashon of the midrash) “carry” our children, support them, have a relationship with them, even if they are “carrying muktzah”.

Kids get involved in shtuyot. They hang on to things they shouldn’t. Behaviors. Friends. Objects. They are just carrying them, they are not those things. Its hard, but we have to make the separation, and continue to hold them until their mature enough to “drop” what their holding onto, whats holding them back etc. What would happen if we treated the child as miktzah himself? He’d probably never let it go. Why would he, it’s all he has, everyone else around him has isolated him. He might not even know that he’s holding muktzah, unless someone that has a relationship with him who he is mekabel from tells him. Often, the best way to reach a person is to hold them, and through that closeness mashpiah on them.

The Midrash this week says a father does the following for his son: Bris Mila, Pidyon, teach torah, teach mitzvos, marry off, clothe, and leave an inheritance. Just as Hashem did this for Klal Yisroel, fathers are meant to emulate Hashem and do this for their sons. I would say these represent a father teaching his son:

  • Bris Mila: Self Control and our special relationship with Hashem (and the responsibilities that go with it).
  • Pidyon: helping to find a place in the community, a tafkid, dedicated to Hashem.
  • Torah: A positive way of life, an overall derech, morals.
  • Mitzvos: Positive behavior, living up to ones morals, putting into action beliefs.
  • Marry: Emulate how a family should be, the role of a father and husband.
  • Clothe: sensitivity to what the son needs to be able to focus on above and provide them (without spoiling).
  • Inheritance: Continuity and mesorah, being a part of something bigger, building on what came before to create something greater.

Shabbat Shalom, Have a great Shabbos,
Rabbi Ari Deutscher MSW