Israel Forever

For the week ending 5 May 2012 / 12 Iyyar 5772

Every Parent a Teacher

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The responsibility of adults to supervise the education of the very young is hinted at in the very first passage of this week's Torah portion.

"Say to the kohanim," Moshe is told by G-d in regard to the laws of ritual purity," and tell them." This seeming redundancy is explained by Rashi as instruction for the adults to pass on this caution to the very young.

In the most basic sense this means that the adult kohanim must refrain from causing children to become contaminated by contact with the dead. But there are a couple of other messages here for all parents in regard to bringing up their children.

One is that a parent cannot simply rely on the school to teach his child what is right and what is wrong. The other is that parents must seek to provide a role model for their children through their own behavior.

Many of the shortcomings of the education in the secular schools in Israel are due to a lack of parental attention to these messages. It is hoped that the reading of this week's Torah portion will succeed in bringing home these messages and produce a generation which can be a source of pride for Israel forever.

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