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May 05, 1995 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-05-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Wondering how to call
for your chllesiewlsh od ■ catI•nP

For families with children in Sunday, afternoon or evening
classes, the Jewish Educational Scholarship Program
may be the answer.

My Parent, My Teacher:
A Self-Interest Dilemma

ALON TOLWIN SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

This communal scholarship fund was established by the Jewish Feder-
ation of Metropolitan Detroit to encourage synagogue and temple mem-
bership, and to promote Jewish education.

Scholarships are based on financial need, with priority given to families
who are affiliated with a congregation or sponsoring organization.

Application forms are available at any of the participating schools, or
from the Agency for Jewish Education.

Application Deadline is June 30, 1995

11E

Questions? Call the
Agency for Jewish
Education, (810) 354-1050

VZ

Participating schools:

Adat Shalom
Beit Kodesh
Beth Abraham Hillel Moses
Beth Achim
Beth Shalom
Birmingham Temple
B'nai Moshe
Jewish Parents Institute
Shaarey Zedek
Shir Tikvah
Temple Beth El
Temple Emanu-El
Temple Israel
Temple Kol Ami
Temple Shir Shalom
Workmen's Circle

4-° Politao

Allied Jewish Campaign

Temple Emanu-El presents

Join us at our Annual Fundraising Concert
to benefit the Music Department of
Temple Emanu-El. Be entertained by The
Klezmer Fusion Band performing a wide
selection of traditional and contempo-
rary Jewish music using Old World instru-
ments such as the mandolin, balalaika
and clarinet. The ensemble plays Yiddish
folk and theatre music,modern Israeli folk
and dance tunes which are backed by a
rhythm section of keyboards, bass and
drums. A festive AFTERGLOW will follow
the concert.

TICKETS for this unique concert can be ordered IN ADVANCE by calling Temple Emanu-El
at (810) 967-4020. They are also available AT THE DOOR on the evening of the performance
at the Temple. COST: $8.00 per person

Temple Emanu-El

14450 West Ten Mile Road • Oak Park, MI 48237 • (810) 967-4020

38

Rabbi Lane B. Steinger, Rabbi Amy B. Brodsky, Cantor Norman Rose,
Educator Ira J. Wise R.J.E., Rabbi Emeritus Milton Rosenbaum

M

ost people will agree

that for any relationship
to succeed, the involved
parties need to elimi-
nate as much "me" as possible.
This is most crucial between
parents and children, since the
relationship is initially very one
sided, dependent on the parent's
ability to think and act in terms
that will train the child to enter
into his or her own life and rela-
tionships in the future with in-
dependence. If the parent cannot
eliminate the "me," the child may
very well feel like an indentured
slave.
Between homework, bedtime
chores and tidiness, the parent
may think the child's best inter-
ests are at heart, but the child
may and often does doubt the pu-
rity of the motivations. Within
a fertile imagination, a child
might even believe that the rea-
son he has to do his homework is
because his father sells it!
How can you, as a parent teach
your child the things necessary
for life without your child feeling
the your self-interest?
In other words, how can you,
the parent, advise and direct your
child so that the child feels it is
right and good for him and not
simply his parent's own "hang-
up"?
The first step is as obvious as
it is ignored. Self-interest must
be eliminated. The child won't
feel that Mom and Dad have ul-
terior motives if it is very clear
that they have none. This is not
easy. It requires the parent to
take a very honest and deep look
into himself. What the parent
may have thought to be altruism
may be parental projection. What
is perceived as parental pride is
often discovered to be self inter-
est. To the child it often comes off
as exactly that!
lithe parent's vision and wish-
es for the.child exceed that of the
parent's own life, the child will
see that wish as self interest.
They will feel that they are being
molded to relive life to fulfill the
dreams that the parents dreamed
and then woke up from. While
parents might think that their
tremendous love for their chil-
dren nullifies self-interest, the
child will view the parents' de-
mands as selfish and not what is
right for the child. Little Tommy
thinks, "If it is the obvious right
thing to do or live for, why don't
they do it?"

Rabbi Alon Tolwin is educational
director of the Detroit branch of
Aish HaTorah.

Even after motivations have
been checked and the parents are
confident of their intentions,
parental instructions can and of-
ten do get lost. All the advice and
guidance fall by the wayside
when the child leaves home or
matures. Years of direction can
dissipate in a few years or
months of college, or just living
away from home. Why? Having
your child's best interests at heart
simply isn't enough. Children
tend to connect values and
morals with their parents just as
they connect to parental love. Yes,
you taught them good values and
dispensed great advice, but
there's one problem. They are still
your values and your advice.
Children leave home. As they do,
they start their own relationships
and often slip away from parental
love. It ought to come as no sur-
prise that they also tend to free
themselves from what they see
as the noose of parental values.
Why? The parent wasn't able to
take the "me" out the values and,
therefore, the love was selfish.
The sedrah this week gives us
a potent piece of advice which can
help us remove that "me" from
what we want for our children.
"A man, his mother and father
he should respect, and My Shab-
bat he should keep; I am the Lord
your God." — Leviticus 19:3

Shabbat Kedoshim:
Leviticus
19:1 - 20:27
Amos 9:7 - 15.

Understand that the Shabbat
mentioned here is representative
of all the mitzvot and moral be-
havior that the child is responsi-
ble for. The Almighty could have
specified honesty, kindness or
tzedekah.
There is significance in that
this verse mentions parental re-
spect separately, then obviously
regroups this particular mitzvah
with all other good deeds. And
why does the Torah connect the
respect we need to give to our
parents to the keeping of the
Shabbat?
At the core of parental self in-
terest is the desire that the child
respect the parent. Ask yourself
the following question.
"Which act will evoke the
stronger reaction from a parent,
a child showing a lack of respect
or disregarding some other
parental expectation?" The an-

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