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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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I think the article “Will My Children Remain Religious?” (June 20, 2019) touched a healthy nerve. The author has guilt about her children’s religiosity. It’s normal. Everyone feels that at some point. The crucial difference is whether we let that guilt creep into our entire perspective or use it as a springboard for growth. From listening to Rabbi Ephraim Simon’s Tanya shiur (https://soundcloud.com/merav-dahan), I learned that the Baal Hatanya points out in Chapter 26, that everyone should set aside time once in a while to feel remorse over misdeeds and resolve to do better. However, sadness has no place in serving Hashem. It is only for a few moments at certain times that one should feel remorse, albeit a sadness that is momentary and leads to positive feelings of determination. The author has let these feelings overshadow the positive ideals that she has instilled in her children. Perhaps her kids are excellent at honoring their parents and practicing kindness? Not knowing “al Hamichya” by heart does not mean that they have broken the chain of Mesorah. As in any relationship, our connection to Hashem is not black and white. We have ups and downs. However, as Chassidut explains, our essential bond can never be broken. It is up to us to serve God with joy coupled with small doses of proscribed introspection. This approach will ultimately lead us to soar to even higher heights of joy and connection with our Creator.

Yonah Heidings
Teaneck