Sunday, March 22, 2009

A heir raising experience

A heir raising experience often involves many hair raisng ones. I read it attributed to the Steipler Gaon that the formula for success in chinuch (education of children) is 50% prayer and 50% shalom bayis (marital harmony and peace in the home). Rabbi Dan Roth in his book, Relevance, very aptly points out that we often get angry at our children, because after all we've done and are constantly doing for them, we expect to be able to control them. But ultimately we cannot control another person even our own spouse or child, we can however control our reactions and how we apply ourselves to personal growth. This idea is really very empowering. We don't have to feel totally helpless and at a loss. There is something concrete we can do. We should concentrate our efforts in the areas where we can do something to make things better and with that Hashem should bless our endeavors and we should merit to see much nachas from our children. We have to try to model to the best of our abilities the kind of people we would want our children to become. They won't necessarily turn out exactly like we envision in every detail, but as long as we've transmitted our values and set them firmly on the true path I think we can consider that a successful mission.

Here are a few of my favorite books on the subject of prayer and shalom bayis.
The Art of Jewish prayer by Rabbi Yitzchak Kirzner and Lisa Aiken
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on Siddur and Tehillim

Marriage and Shalom Bayis:
Dear Daughter By Rabbi Eliyahu Goldschmidt
Dear Son By Rabbi Eliyahu Goldschmidt
A Committed Marriage by Rebetzin Esther Jungreis
Woman to Woman by Rebetzin Esther Greenberg


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