The easiest part of parenting is love. The hardest part of parenting is tough love. There are countless choices and decisions we make as parents, and plenty of times we’re left wondering whether or not we’ve made the right choice.
As people get older, it's common to hear the reassurance that "age is just a number" or "you get better with age" as if age is something we're automatically supposed to fight against. But the reality, as Abraham shows us, is that with age comes experience.
When God hears Hagar's distress call, God answers by "opening her eyes." How often in life are we paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of what might need to be done? How often do we perceive ourselves as stuck somewhere, even if the answer is in front of us?
Abraham’s first act in the Torah is asking his wife to lie for him. How do we reconcile this with the image of Abraham our forefather, the one who we refer to first when listing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Why do we forgive Abraham?
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When the kids are quietly playing, there’s that first moment when you think, “Wow, it’s so quiet! How nice that the children are playing so well and aren’t screaming at me or each other.” Then you start to suspect it's a little too quiet.
Children have this wonderful ability to love themselves and others without much judgment. Parshat Bereshit reminds us to look for the unique, divine characteristics in each person we meet and to celebrate the characteristics that make us exactly who we need to be.