Family Getting Together on Yom Tov

It is interesting that in the aftermath of Pesach and Sukkos, publications routinely receive communications from parents who have been fortunate to host their married children and their families for Yom Tov. Many bemoan the fact that the visit did not meet their expectations — the parents may have had to invite themselves over (see Positive Parenting in Hamodia daily, May 1) or, in the case where their children came to the parents, the former failed to help out during meals. To top it off, perhaps the grandchildren made a mess, thus upsetting the hostess/mother/grandmother. In other cases, young marrieds simply formulate their own plans of how to celebrate Yom Tov — with friends, or at a hotel, etc.

Certainly, married children and grandchildren who visit their parents have an obligation to do their part — serving, cleaning up, taking care of their children, etc. It is unfortunate that sometimes parents’ expectations are not met, much to their consternation.

However, there is a more beneficial parental perspective on the matter: Focus on the blessings and zechus of having a few generations celebrate Yom Tov together. There are families in which, for whatever reason, this is not the case. Not always is it possible to fulfill “v’higadeta l’vincha — and you shall tell to your son …” Surely, those who merit doing so — aggravation notwithstanding — would not prefer the alternative scenario. They should dwell on these blessings, which would make it easier to deal with the “hardships.”

M. Josephs, Brooklyn