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You're Not Alone

You know those days when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore? The times when you feel you’ve given everything you have to your children and are running on empty? All parents experience those moments, because parenting our children is a daunting mission. Like anything worthwhile, the responsibility of raising the next generation can weigh heavily on our shoulders and at times seems overwhelming. At those moments, we remind ourselves that we’re not alone on this parenting mission. We’re part of a team.


In Parshas Bo, (Exodus 10:1-13:16), Moshe (Moses) is repeatedly sent to the king of Egypt to demand the release of the Jewish nation to serve God. His mission was daring and difficult as Hashem (God) had already informed him that Pharaoh wouldn’t be receptive to his requests. Yet Moshe bravely entered the palace time after time because the keyword in his instructions was “Bo”. “Bo” is the Hebrew word for “come” and each time Hashem sent Moshe to Pharaoh it was with the word “Bo”, come. Hashem didn’t say “Go to Pharaoh”. He commanded “Come to Pharaoh” for He was alongside Moshe in the throne room.


Jewish tradition tells us that Hashem was telling Moshe and all future leaders that He never sends us alone to fulfill our life’s missions. He is alongside us, supporting us, guiding us, and calling us to come alongside Him instead of sending us off on our own. We must always remember that as parents, we aren’t alone on this mission. The Talmud teaches that there are three partners in every child, a mother, father, and Hashem. While we often acknowledge the miraculous moment of birth as being a spiritual time, Hashem’s role as a partner with parents continues throughout the child's life.  Parenting is also a “Come” mission from Hashem.  He doesn’t send us off to parent on our own, He is right there alongside us.  He remains an active partner with us and fortunately, His role in parenting is infinitely more powerful, loving and effective than our own.  Hashem is present as our partner as we raise our children.  The burden is not ours because the mission is  “Bo”, come, not “Go”. 


When we feel overwhelmed, it is time for us to remember the ultimate Partner in our parenting. This is when we should turn to Him and ask for His help because He is with us as we raise our children. In last week’s Parenting As Partners webinar, my husband and I shared how we pray together to tap into our children’s Heavenly Parent’s wisdom when we feel stuck. (The one minute clip is below. You can access the full video here.) 


Dependence isn’t a bad word. When we depend on God, we gather the strength we need to continue onwards and when we invite our children to depend on us, we are granting them the same benefits. Like Hashem, we have the ability to offer the gift of presence and support to our children. There is a world of difference between sending our child to do something as a “Go” mission, versus  a “Come” mission.  We can help our children rise to challenges best with the message of “I’m with you” rather than “Go do it yourself”.  Whether we are encouraging a young child to do something small or asking an older child to stretch beyond their comfort level in a larger way, we can learn from Hashem and give a message of “Bo”, I will be with you as you do this.  You’re not alone.



This week's article is dedicated to the memory of Orly and David Schvartzman, both 67, of Kibbutz Kfar Aza who were brutally murdered on October 7. They were the parents of four children and grandparents of ten. Their daughter wrote a tribute to them recording her memories, including this gem. “A beautiful garden, tons of flowers, the scent of jasmine, the doorbell — already when you walk in the scent of soup and couscous. Jason is already at the door, wagging his fearsome tail, Mom is the first to arrive, wearing an apron and a huge smile, putting out a hand for a warm hug. Dad is on the sofa, getting up slowly, a kiss on the forehead and then a hug. They gather up the grandchildren in their arms,” she wrote. May their memory be for a blessing.




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