Did You Check the Weather Yet?
One thing the Jewish people did not do as they prepared for their hasty
exodus from Egypt was check the local forecast. To a slave nation on the
cusp of freedom, it was irrelevant if it was hot or cold or rainy – freedom
was the only thing on their minds.
It is rather curious, then, that Moshe, on the evening before their
anticipated departure, deemed it necessary to report on the weather
conditions outside: “Look!” he declared, “today you are leaving, in the
month of springtime” (Exodus 13:4).
“Uh, thanks Moshe,” the people must have thought as they hurriedly packed up
their belongings. “But we really don’t care what it’s like outside. And
besides, who doesn’t already know that its springtime. Why don’t you save
your speeches for teaching us new and important topics – we hear there will
be quite a few of those in our near future.”
Rashi explains that Moshe was not your ordinary weatherman. “I am teaching
you something new and important,” Moshe responded. “In fact, this might be
one of the most important lessons you will ever hear from me.”
“You might not care right now,” he pleaded with the people, “but please stop
for a moment and look at the weather. It’s magnificent! It’s not too hot —
you don’t have to worry that the kids will be complaining the whole time.
It’s not too cold — you don’t have to worry that you can’t figure out how to
get the baby strapped into the snap n’ go while wearing a snowsuit. It’s
not raining — you don’t have to worry that one of the kids can’t find the
other rain boot as the caravan is pulling out. It’s just perfect. Don’t you
see how much Hashem loves you? I know, I know, you’re so excited to get out
of here you wouldn’t have even noticed, but I want you to recognize and
appreciate the kindness He is bestowing upon you. He wants it to be the most
comfortable trip possible. And that’s because He loves you!”
Caring for Our Children
As parents, we spend a great deal of our lives doing things for our
children. From the moment we bring them home from the hospital until we
walk them down the aisle (and beyond), we bestow kindness upon kindness upon
them. Sleepless nights, thousands of diaper changes, endless carpool runs,
and the profound emotional investment — we do it all and we do it out of love.
Our kids, of course, do not fully recognize or appreciate what we do;
they’re oblivious when they’re younger and selfish as they get older.
(That’s normal – we did it to our parents, too.) We often yearn for them to
recognize our efforts, not for the acknowledgment (though that certainly
would be nice), but just so that they could see how much we love them. We
just want them to know that the efforts we invest in them are an expression
of how much we care. Wouldn’t it be great for them to see that?
But we don’t feel right saying it. We don’t want to be the type of parents
who follow their kids around pointing out all the wonderful things we are
We don’t have to. We have a secret weatherman: Our Spouse!
Just as Moshe pointed out the kindness Hashem bestowed upon the Jewish
people, a husband or a wife can point out what his or her spouse is doing
for their kids.
“Hey, looks like Mommy made your favorite dish again,” Daddy can say at the
table. “I bet it’s because she likes making you happy!”
“Who here noticed how many times Daddy drove back and forth between the
house and school today?” Mommy can ask. “I think he really loves you guys.”
When spouses openly compliment each other on the things each other does for
their children, the kids become acutely aware of how much they are cared
for. They begin to see it themselves, without having a parent point it out,
because they have been trained to see things that way. (This is exactly what
Moshe wanted from the Jewish people as well.)They also become aware of how
much their parents love and appreciate each other as they constantly hear
their parents complimenting each other. And that is a fantastic environment
to grow up in.
Make it a point, at least once a week, to point out to your children the
nice things that your spouse is doing for them. Remind your kids that he or
she is doing it out of love and care for them. And let your children see
how much each of you appreciates what the other is doing for the kids.
More often than not, it’s a beautiful day outside. We just don’t take the
time to notice.