Jul 28, 2011

Reverence for Parents - A Lost Midda?

As heard from the speaker:

She attended Gateshead Seminary and the school was going on a boating outing on Lag B'Omer.  She knew that her parents were opposed to her going on boats, even if it was a school activity and even if it was Lag B'Omer, so despite the importuning of her friends ("Your parents didn't mean this trip ...") and her great desire to join everyone else, she remained behind. 

She sat in the seminary and read until, to her enormous surprise and delight, there was a knock and there were her father and uncle! They had something to take care of in the vicinity and decided to drop in, unannounced, and see her.  Of course, had she gone on the trip, she would have missed seeing them and she felt oh so good, having followed what she knew her parents wanted her to do.

As heard from another speaker:

She grew up in a little town in Europe and there was a childless woman who would frequently give her rides on her bike.  One day, the woman came by to give her a ride, but her mother inexplicably refused to allow her to go.  Shockingly, the woman on the bike was in an accident and was killed.  Her mother had been guided by Heaven to protect her from going with the woman.

What I "took" from these stories, particularly the first one which involved a young lady, not a child, is how powerful family loyalty is, how priceless it is when children are proud and committed to doing as their parents say.  When a child of any age can say with pride that they do or don't do something, "Because that is what my parents do," the parents have done something right in the raising of this child.  The woman of the first story reveres her parents.  How many frum children today revere their parents? They may like their parents and think they're "cool," but reverence? Not doing what you know they wouldn't want you to do even if they are not around to see? Sounds like a firm foundation for yiras shomayim which entails not doing what Hashem doesn't want you to do, even if it doesn't look like He is around to see.

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