After his prolonged struggle with Eisov, Yaakov wanted to settle down and live a peaceful life. Rashi explains that Hashem later “set up” the kidnapping of יוסף, saying, “Are the צדיקים not satisfied with what awaits them in עולם הבא that they expect to live at ease in this world?” We see that even though Hashem wishes צדיקים peace of mind in this world, the kidnapping of יוסף seems to be deliberately preventing the feeling of שלום ושלוה!
Rav Moshe Feinstein זצ‘‘ל writes that Hashem’s action was to counteract יעקב’s attitude toward the חנוך of his sons! יעקב thought his sons had reached a level where they no longer needed constant attention. He felt he could “take it easy” without expending any effort on their behalf. To show יעקב that children, no matter their age, still need constant חנוך, the pain and anguish of the מכירת יוסף came upon him.
Rav Moshe is pointing out that even someone who has wonderful tzaddikim for sons cannot take for granted that children are “finished products” with a guarantee. As parents, we cannot, at any time, feel our children no longer need our attention and concern.
Report cards have been mailed out and your reaction to them is important to your children. Positive comments and grades mean that your child did a good job. Please recognize them and praise such reports. On the other hand, if any areas of concern are noted in your child’s report card, please continue to encourage your son or daughter. You can use it as an opportunity to set new goals and help them meet the goals you set together. Ask the teachers, rebbeim, and moros for their assistance as well. Report cards are a tool to help our talmidim and talmidos reach new heights.
Please remember that the חנוך of all children needs a partnership between parents and teachers – and we want to hear from you. My office is always open; please come and chat! Not only is your involvement helpful for the learning process, but children also take notice when they see how important their education is to you.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School