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Our Children, Our Selves

Our Children, Our Selves

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Having children is an act of faith. Faith that the world is going somewhere good. Faith that in our children's lifetimes it will be a better place than it is now. How do we know this, when there's so much evidence to the contrary? We just do.

Having children is an act of trust. Trust in He who creates and sustains the world anew each moment of time, that He will provide what is needed to sustain one more partner to His grand plan. What couple could have a child if they first had to prove that they could "afford" it? If parenthood required a license, like for operating a motor vehicle or practicing law, who would pass the test? Yet somehow we know that if we bring a child into the world, G-d will provide the resources to nourish them body and soul. As He did for our parents, who were perhaps no worse, but most likely no better, equipped for the task than we.

Having children is a G-dly act. Who but G-d could say, "Let us make a man in our image, in our likeness," and then impart this same power to His creation?

Having children is a joy as deep as pain, an agony as exhilarating as pleasure. Someone once said that only after having a child of his own did he understand how G-d feels: what it's like to create a being who is an extension of your very self, with a will of its own -- a will that is free to turn against your will. What pain is there when your child turns against you! And what joy and satisfaction there is when he or she carries all that is precious to you -- your values, your vision, your dreams -- to the next generation and beyond, in new and unanticipateable ways.

Having children is the ultimate self-assertion. It says: I am, and I shall continue to be. Forever.

Stories:

Angels
by Jay Litvin

Zeida
by Chani Hadad

My Son's Short But Very Meaningful Life
by Schneur and Rachi Garb

Zahavah's Friend
by Tovia Bolton

Songs of Innocence
by Deena Yellin

How A Stupid Little Ruler Saved My Life
by Jay Litvin

A Mother Who Stayed Home
by Beth Poznansaky Baum

Chaim's Bar Mitzvah
by Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Do You Have a Father?
told by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik

Popular Names
from the writings of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yizchak Schneersohn

Serving Father
from the writings of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yizchak Schneersohn

Serebrinka, 1902
from the writings of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yizchak Schneersohn


Insights and essays:

It Is His Turn
by Jay Litvin

The Wonder that is Woman
by Yanki Tauber

The Memory of Water
by Yanki Tauber

It's Not Easy To Be a Son
by Yanki Tauber

The Fifth Question
by Yanki Tauber

The Eyes of a Child
by Yanki Tauber

The View From My Child's Window
by Jay Litvin

What Happened on Your Birthday?
by Yanki Tauber

The Head
by Yanki Tauber

Packaging
by Yanki Tauber


See also:

Education: an Anthology

Rabbi Yaakov Leider's Parenting Articles

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Discussion (2)
May 28, 2012
Our Children Our Selves
Very true. As a mother, I know what the love of a child is. I also know the pain of a child turning against you. But as the Almighty promised, He, blessed be He, will judge justly. The emptiness in that part of my soul is filled with the love of my Creator.
Anonymous
mesa
July 10, 2009
Our children ourselves
This "food for thought" is absolutely brilliant, as a father of three, 2 of which are girls, one of which is a 17 year old teenager!

This work made me proud to be a dad, and realise how lucky i am in having a strong wife and faith.

Together we stand in the hope of a better tomorrow.

Shabbat shalom
Ian Lester
Cairns, Queensland
chabadofrara.org
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