Shaul was upset. He’d been counting on going to the event with his dad, but his father had just called to say that something unavoidable had come up. He promised to make it up another time.
Dad’s last statement rang in Shaul’s ears. “You know I love you, Shaulie. I just can’t be there.”
Shaul’s mind was filled with questions. How can he disappoint me like this and say he loves me? How come the other dads are able to keep their commitments? I wonder if he really does love me?
The mitzvah, the business deal or whatever it is that is “unavoidable and necessary” would be more acceptable to a child if the little one knew clearly that his parent really did love him and that he was his parent’s top priority. How is one able to communicate this very important message to one’s child?
It is said that actions speak louder than words. Every day, a person has opportunities to SHOW how s/he feels towards another. Harav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, related that his esteemed father, Harav Moshe, zt”l, used to place his children’s clothes on a warm radiator on cold winter mornings. Harav Moshe was the Gadol HaDor and his time was a commodity he could not afford to waste; he had obligations to fulfill towards the Jews of the world. Harav Reuven always felt that his father loved him because he was not only able to “borrow” some precious time to do what was good for his children, but he also took time to THINK about his offspring’s comfort.
If you’d like to get your message across, don’t say how you feel. Show it!
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
When a person clears his thoughts and acquires a concept of Hashem, in the true way, and is happy with what he’s acquired, it becomes impossible for bad to happen to him because he’s with Hashem and Hashem’s with him. However, when his mind turns away to other things, he’s then separated from Hashem and Hashem separates from him. He’s then susceptible to all kinds of bad things because the protection from them is dependent on clarity of thoughts about Hashem’s Providence. (Rambam, Moreh Nevuchim, Part 3, chap. 51)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.