Something for Shabbas: Sewing seeds of greatness in children

“And Moshe said to his father-in-law, the people come to me to seek the Almighty” (Shmot 18:15)

The Midrash says that Moshe demanded that the people come to him and therefore Moshe had to walk to the burning bush to come closer to the Almighty. The prophet Shmuel, on the other hand, went to the people, and he therefore he merited that the Almighty come to him.

Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz always used to comment that this is meant to teach us an important lesson in our lives. One’s closeness to the Almighty is dependent on one’s love for other people. Shmuels’s going to the people showed that he had great love and concern for them and therefore the Almighty rewarded him by coming to him. Where did Shmuel get this great love for other people? The Midrash says the garment his mother made for him was with him the entire life. This garment, was made with the profound love his mother had for him. This love became such a part of Shmuel that it was manifested in his entire way of dealing with other people.

This is a practical lesson for parents, especially for mothers. The love a mother shows for her infants and young children by getting up in the middle of the night to take care of them implants in them a deep feeling of being loved. When such a child grows older he will have love for others. Any small thing a parent does with love for his children will pay off great dividends. The greater the child becomes the more many people will benefit from that love.

Taken from ‘Growth through Torah’ Rabbi Zelig Pliskin.

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