Friday, November 7, 2008


After a Bris, the father of the infant and the Mohel finish a Tefilah with the words: "…and raise him to Torah, Chupa and Maasim Tovim."

When do our preparations for chuppa start? When our children are infants; when we raise them with the right middos and with the right hashkofos; when we raise them with Torah and Maasim Tovim, we are also preparing them for the Chuppa.

By our example, we show our kids how husband and wife should act towards each other. We show them the respect that should exist between a husband and wife, and we show them in the daily give and take how to behave towards one another.

We cannot say: "Do as I say and not as I do." That will not work. If the father does not go to shul everyday, how can he expect his son to do so? If a mother does not show respect to her husband, how are the children supposed to?

There is a story that of a 3 year old in Israel who used to go around the house motioning with his hands as if he was putting on Tefillin and kissing his Shel Rosh and Shel Yad. People who saw it mentioned what a wonder child he is, how holy! They started bringing him Kvitlach, asking for brochos etc. Then someone went to a Godol and told him the story of this wonder child. The Godol said: "Wonder' shmonder. Tell the child's father to stop davening at home and to daven with a minyan!!"

So, if we want our children to be ready for the Chuppa, if we want to teach them how to have a happy marriage, we must show them how. We all want that our boys should grow up to be masmidim. We all want them to be the best bochrim in their Yeshivah, to be able to learn, to be able to "shtaig" etc. In Lubavitch, we want them to go on Mivtzoim, on shlichus. We want them to join in farbrengens and be more chassidish. If they see their fathers doing the best they can, davening with a minyan, setting aside time to learn, trying to fit in mivtzoim in their busy lives, they will grow up to make us more proud than we can imagine. But if we expect them to do all these things because they should, but we, ourselves, are too busy to make time for it, our message goes a bit astray.

If this has happened to you, that you said "do as I say and not as I do" and the results have been less than stellar, do not think that it is too late. If your kids are still young it is easy for you to change your ways, (do tshuva :)) and show them a different, better way. They will definitely learn much from your strength of character, that you saw a lack and remedied it.

If your children are grown, you can still change your ways, and talk to them and explain how you heard an inspiring speaker, or read a sefer or whatever, that made you realize your way was not the correct way and you wish them to follow the "new improved you" rather than the old ways.