Halacha » Ben Sorer U’Moreh – Parenting With A United Front

Ben Sorer U’Moreh – Parenting With A United Front

In this week’s Parasha, the Torah tells us of the — בן סורר ומורה the wayward son. Amongst other requirements, the Gemara tells us that one of the prerequisites needed to actually deem one a  בן סורר ומורהis that the voice of both parents must be equal, as one. Though the Gemara teaches that it’s referring to the actual pitch of their respective voices; in a homiletical sense, our Sages explain that parents must be extremely cautious to remain constantly in unison— especially in front of their children, lest their children sway from the path Chas v’Shalom.

This is not to say that the parents must agree with each other on every single minute detail; but especially when in the presence of our children, we must take great care to never contradict what our spouse has said. If we don’t agree, we must wait until we are alone and discuss the issue further, but the children must feel that there is no breach in the fortress that is their home (as opposed to allowing the children to strategically know already which questions to pose to whom, “Mom said no, but let’s go to Dad instead, he’ll say yes”).

We are all familiar with the crisis of “at risk” children today. The truth is that all children are at risk; despite the religious affiliation of the parents. We mustn’t undermine the trials and tribulations our youth are facing now. Though some of these may seem miniscule in our eyes, for they seem to have “a life full of luxuries” and everything “handed to them on a silver platter”, we must be aware that each test HaKadosh Baruch Hu gives an individual is custom made specifically for him, and nobody else is able to pass it. Every morning we make the blessing: שעשה לי כל צרכי — and You made [for] me all of my needs. The fact that the blessing states my needs as opposed to simply stating “all that’s needed”, is there to teach us this lesson: I have all the tools needed for me to fulfill my purpose in life, and not somebody else’s! Just as we can’t give a mechanic a scalpel and expect him to perform a surgery, so can’t we expect others to pass certain hurdles just because they may seem easy to us.

Our children have enough on their plate as is, we need not further compound their struggle by taking away their security system. When parents aren’t in unison however, that’s exactly what they’re doing. What makes a parent a parent is not what they did, it’s what they do. May we all merit the Siyata D’Shmaya needed to properly guide our children in the proper way, the way of HaShem, and merit to see only nahat from our children. May we, as children of HaShem, be a source of nahat to Him, and thus be spared from the birth pangs of Moshiah.

Shabbat Shalom