Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  The Living Law
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayera

Chinuch: Training for Life

The Torah relates how Avraham involved his son Yishmael in preparing the food for his guests. The Jewish patriarch did this in order to educate him in the observance of mitzvos (Bereishis 18:7 and Rashi ad. loc).

There is a mitzvah of chinuch, to train and educate one's progeny in their formative years of childhood, despite the fact the obligation of mitzvah observance is only upon Jewish adults. This calls for to train and educate children in the ways of Torah living.

In the famous words of the wisest man, Chanoch l'naar al pi darko… "Train a child in the way he should go; when he matures, he will not deviate from it" (Mishlei 22:6).

What is the underlining nature of this mitzvah?

The word "chinuch", often translates as "training" or "education", actually means "inauguration" (Rashi, Bereishis 14:14). There is nothing as important as the inaugural stage. It establishes the precedent from where everything subsequently flows: "Everything follows after the origin" (Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer Ch.42). It is the map indicating the direction in which one is heading.

In the life of a Jew, chinuch is the basic introduction to Judaism for one's offspring.

Here a Jewish child experiences his induction to what Jewish living is all about. The lifelong held values and ideals of a Jew – such as good character traits, faith in G-d and pride in the Torah – are stamped upon the precious Jewish soul in his most impressionable developing years.

Where the child learns to speak, he is immediately taught to say "The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the inheritance of the Congregation of Yaakov" (Devarim 33:4). This verse is so special because its pronouncement beautifully captures what it is Jewish parents are setting out to achieve through their chinuch training.

They are conveying the treasured legacy each Jewish child inherits from the parents; how their child is the next link in the chain of mesorah, the Jewish tradition; a tradition nostalgically traced back to the forefathers.

Every Jewish child is a torchbearer.

Only through a successful "inauguration" can Jewish parents hope for the continuity of their Jewish living. Where Torah ideals are important to parents, they then become important to their children, who follow their example. The child joyously accustomed and enthusiastic to a life of mitzvah observance is likely to elect to continue forward on this religious pathway once he enters adulthood.

Chinuch sets out to mold the child by correcting personality faults and rooting out bad traits. It arms a Jewish soul in his passage through life by providing him with the Torah outlook to successful tackle life's vicissitudes, to love G-d and have an unswerving faith in Him to living the life of a Jew.


The course is presented by Osher Chaim Levene, author of SET IN STONE (2004: Targum) about the meaning of mitzvah observance and PEOPLE OF THE BOOK (2007: Targum) about the biblical personalities. A London-based writer and educator whose website www.mitzva.org explores the wisdom of the commandments, he learned at the Gateshead and Mir Yeshivas, holds a Bachelor of Science (Honors) business degree from London's City University, and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.


 

ARTICLES ON TETZAVEH:

View Complete List

Battle the Amalek Within
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Enlightened Actions
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

A Time to Speak Up
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

It Shows on the Forhead...
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Where's Moshe?
Shlomo Katz - 5772

A Real Oil Job
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

> Shedding Our Skin
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Get A Grip
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

There is Knowing, and there is Knowing
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Well Oiled System
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Restoring the Urim V’tumim in Our Lives
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

G-d Sees Shades of Gray
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

ArtScroll

Our Story is History
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

When Someone Says "Don't Worry About It" It Is Time To Start Worrying
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Kohen Gadol
Shlomo Katz - 5765

G’d the Source of Life
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5772



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information