Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayeitze
"Mom, I'm home."
"Devora, shalom! Welcome home. How was school?"
"Take off your coat and let me give you a big hug."
"Mom, you're the best. What's that delicious smell?"
"Vegetable soup. I have a nice hot lunch for you."
"Yum. I'm so hungry."
"Okay, go wash and sit down so we can eat together."
"Mom, it's so nice to eat with you every day."
"It's my pleasure, Devora."
"Mom, can I tell you something personal?"
"Of course, my dear."
"You make our home such a wonderful place. You always greet us with a smile, a hug, and a kiss. You have a warm meal waiting for us. You take care of all of us. Our home is always clean, orderly, and well stocked with food. You always have the time to listen to us, and to give us good advice. You make Shabbos and Yomim Tovim so beautiful and special. I just love coming home!"
"Devora dear, you make me feel so good. I work so hard on all of these things. It is wonderful to hear your appreciation. Can I tell you a secret?"
"This is the most important thing that I can be doing."
"What is the most precious thing in the world?"
"Do you know what a person can accomplish? People can move mountains. They can create cities. They can write beautiful Chidushei Torah (original Torah thoughts). An evil person, cholila (Heaven forbid) can destroy a whole world. People are worth more than anything."
"What's the secret that you wanted to tell me, Mom."
"Do you see those two house-plants over there, Devora?"
"Yes, Mom. One looks very strong and healthy. But the other one is barely alive."
"When I bought both of them Devora, they looked the same. I planted one in a flowerpot filled with good, rich soil. It grew big, strong, and beautiful. The other one was planted in weak soil. It hardly grew at all."
"Mom, tell me the secret."
"A person is like the plant, and the home is like the soil in the pot. When a person grows up in a good home, he will flourish. His body and soul will receive the nourishment that they need to bloom into a healthy, strong, productive adult. If not, cholila, the person will find it much more difficult to meet life's challenges. That is why my work in the home is so important. It helps to make you into beautiful people. This is the secret to the most precious thing in the world."
"Mom, how do you know this?"
"We have a hint in this week's parsha. The Torah writes that Dinah, the daughter of Leah went out to see the daughters of the land where they were living (Bereshis 34:1). Unfortunately, a terrible thing happened to her when she went out. The Medrash Tanchuma comments on this event by quoting a verse in Tehillim (45:14), 'All of the honor of a princess in inside.' When a woman is modest within her home, she atones for her family members. Just as the Holy Altar atones for the Jewish people, so too she atones for her people. When a woman is modest within her home, she becomes like a fruitful vine. Her children become like strong olive trees."
"Mom, that is beautiful."
"The home is the woman's field of endeavor. That is where she can be creative. That is where she can create life's most valuable possessions. Devora, you are my valuable possession."
"Mom, someday I hope to become as good a mommy as you are."
"Devora, with G-d's help you will be."
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