Taking Pride in Our Children
In this week's parsha, in the Shema prayer, we are told "these words,
which I command you... you shall teach them diligently to your
children, and you shall speak of them."
The Commentator Beis Yitzchak explains that if we teach our children
Torah and Jewish values, we will be able to speak of them when we "sit
in the house" and when we "walk by the way" (the language used later
on by the Torah). We will always have something in common to talk
If, on the other hand, our children are taught only secular wisdom to
the exclusion of Torah, they will sit at the table like strangers, and
we will face a struggle to find topics of conversation.
The Hebrew could be interpreted a little differently. "Veshinantam
l'vanecha, v'dibarta bam" usually means "and you shall teach them to
your children and you shall speak of them", as mentioned above. The
word "bam" means "of them", meaning of the Torah which we are teaching
Another way of translating this word would be to take "bam" to mean
"of them" referring to the children. In other words, by teaching our
children and passing on our heritage to them, we will speak "of them".
We will speak proudly of their achievements and of their adherence to
Judaism. By teaching our children, we will shep nachas from them, as
they say in Yiddish.