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June 5, 2015

Trust is the cord that binds us

by Rabbi Dovid Felt

There is a very interesting commentary on this weeks Parsha that highlights the degree to which parental influence extends and the source for it. After the Bnei Yisroel’s complaints and dissatisfaction with the Manna the Torah tells us that Moshe questioned his ability to continue leading them on his own. The HaEmek Davar explains that Moshe was hoping that Hashem would appoint a body of elders to assist him. Moshe’s wish says the Sefornu was that by appointing men selected from across all the twelve tribes of Israel every member of Klal Yisroel would feel that he had an advocate in the form of a relative who would care for him. This Moshe hoped would moderate their need to complain.

The Sefornu articulating this line of reasoning explains that the same way a child trusts his farther and listens to him even though he may not agree with him or he may not feel that his father understands him so too Klal Yisroel would listen to their leaders if they trusted them. Moshe was emphatic that this happen to the point that he was willing to give up his leadership if this was not to be.

My Rebbi, Rabbi Hehnoch Liebowitz points out that Moshe’s analysis was that it would be more productive to have a leader Bnei Yisroel could trust knowing that he cared for them even if it meant giving up on a leader the caliber of Moshe Rabbeinu. I believe my Rebbi was saying that Moshe’s analysis was correct even if it is only in the perception of the recipient. The reality was that no one cared for the Bnei Yisroel more than Moshe. We are all familiar with how much Moshe gave up personally for them and to what lengths Moshe went to help them. Yet he was ready to transfer his leadership to others that Bnei Yisroel they believed cared more about them because ultimately Moshe felt they would be more successful because Bnei Yisroel trusted them.

Trust is the cord that binds us. When children trust that their parents care about them, they can have differences in opinions, differences in worldview or differences in character but it won’t inhibit the influence parents have on them. Recognizing the value of trust will hopefully translate in how we shape our relationship with others and especially with our children.

Felt tips:

Trust is a two way street however the width of the street is different for parents and children. For parents it is a narrow street, we don’t have too much room to veer off the single lane that defines the path we take to raise our children. As parents we always need to be consistent and we have to stay true to our beliefs. There is also not much room for error; children are not as forgiving as we would like them to be.

For children the street is much wider. There is more room to change lanes and to get on the shoulder lane when having difficulty. There is also room for a rescue vehicle to come with assistance. Let us help our children as they travel on the journey of life with the knowledge that the engine of their vehicle is the trust they have in us that we love them.

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