Parsha Acharei Mot - Kedoshim - Creating Space for Children
The Sweetest of the Sweet: Reb Shlomo's Teachings
K’doshim - Creating Space for Children
What makes one person more holy or less holy, great or not great is not how much they know. The thing is always how much do they know where they are. There is a saying in Pirkei Avos, Eizehu Chacham Hamakir Es Mekomo, Who is clever? One who knows where he is. The deepest secret in life is to know exactly where you are.
Featured Video : Reb Shlomo sharing Fascinating Stories of great "Netziv" Reb Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin What you could've been WHAT YOU COULD BE / What is the deepest redemption? THAT GOD SHINES INTO YOU THAT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE / YOUR PLACE IN THIS WORLD -
The Heilige Ishbitzer says that essentially, this is the meaning of holiness. Holy means important. A holy person knows what is important and what is not important. An unholy person does not know. Sometimes by mistake they do important things too, but they are doing it on an unimportant level. I have seen people giving one penny to a poor man on the level of holiness, and I have seen other people saving somebody else's life on the level of unholiness. When you know where you are, you know what’s important and what’s not.
Now listen to the deepest depths. What is considered a holy act? A holy act means that is was worth being created, and it was worth it for G-d to have created heaven and earth for me to do what I am doing right now. Holy means that everything was worth it for me to do this one thing. This too is also the real meaning of love. When I meet somebody and I realize that unless I would have gone through everything that had happened in my life - I would have not been able to connect to them and feel what I’m feeling in that moment.
Holy is when time and space meet. Here and Now. What’s Mt Sinai all about? You think G-d gathered us together and said ‘listen, I’ll look at my calendar and I’ll find a free weekend’, and then G-d says ‘great, it looks like there is an opening on the sixth of Sivan. Brother Mo, how about you?’ And Moses says to the children of Israel “are you ready for a little weekend on Mt Sinai.” Bnei Yisrael answer back “we just called up the UJA, there’s no appeal that Shabbos; we have time on that weekend.”
You know what it is? Everything which took place before then - had to happen. The flood had to be, the tower of Bavel, the slavery in Egypt, the Red Sea had to split. Everything had to take place before. At Mount Sinai I looked back and realized that every moment was important. And this is the secret of Sefiras Ha’omer. Between Pesach and Shavuos we are learning not only that we have to count the days; we are realizing that unless every moment is what it is - I wouldn’t be ready for Mt Sinai. And this is what I am learning first when I get out of Egypt. Before I left Egypt - I thought to myself “whatever is happening could have happened any day. No day is more important than the next.” Right now, as a free person, I realize it couldn’t have happened yesterday, it had to be today. Then I realize thank G-d it’s happening today because yesterday I wasn’t ready. The holiness of Mount Sinai is all about Here and Now.
How do you give this teaching over to your children?
I'll tell you something way out. Take two set of parents. Their kids both go to the same school, they both have all the love of their parents. Something went wrong with both kids. One of them never made it back, but the other one was able to make it back. Imagine those two parents meet, they talk to each other. What do they begin to realize?
You know friends, it's not enough to teach your children what you have to do, on the level of right or wrong. Every child has something special about them, but you can’t necessarily give it over to them in words. It's not about finding the right words. If I tell my baby you're talented for piano, that isn't what I mean. And if I tell my baby, “you're a genius and you should be a doctor,” this isn't what I mean either. Every person is a revelation from G-d which has never been here before. Every person has something from G-d which nobody ever had. I have something which Avraham Avinu didn't have, something that Moshe Rabbeinu didn't have. Who is the one to teach the child this utmost G-d holiness which nobody else has? Parents, not teachers. Teachers teach you the holiness of right or wrong.
Back to the two sets of parents. Both parents taught their child what they're special about. But nebech, one taught his child you're so special - you have got to be a doctor. Or you are so wise, you will be a holy rabbi, but that is not where it's at either. The other parent taught his child that there is something so special about you and it has no words, and yet it is so special. You know what this second set of parents gave to their child? Their own place in this world.
Do you know what’s so hard for parents to believe? That G-d reveals to parents on the level of prophecy this holiness which nobody else knows about their children. It is absolutely a prophecy.
So now I want to tell you like this. If a person has been taught this utmost holiness of having a place in this world which is just for them, they will come back, take it or leave it. I don't know why, but this is what it is. If a person has only been taught that you're just like everybody else, you're more talented or less talented - all this is unimportant meaningless talk. Just a few weeks ago, one boy nebech, tried to commit suicide because his parents always told him he has to be a doctor. When he wasn't accepted into medical school he tried to commit suicide, because what else is there to live for. Baruch Hashem, he was saved at the last second. When it comes to the other boy, it could be that his parents also told him to go to medical school, and he was not accepted. He will not commit suicide because he knows there is something so holy about him which no one else ever had. It doesn't have to be in words.
So now lets learn the depths of this parsha.
It says 'Kdoshim Tihiyu Ki Kadosh Ani’. And then it says “Fear your mother and your father and keep my two Shabboses.” You see what it is? Teaching your child they had to be born now is the most profound teaching of kedoshim tihiyu. For a child to know it’s makom in the world is worth a million lifetimes, even more than that. “Kedoshim Tihiyu” you have to be holy like everybody else, but “Ish Immo V’aviv Tira’u,” your parents are teaching you the holiness of just you, your space in this world.
How awesome, so much yir’ah is in that type of relationship.