What’s On Your Mind? – Parashat Eikev

August 8, 2017 at 2:20 AM , , ,

“…..And you shall teach them to your children to speak with them, when you sit in your house and when you go on the way; when you lie down and when you rise….” (Devarim 11:19)

Parashat Eikev

The final words of this verse teach that the mitzvos of studying Torah and reciting the Shema (“to speak with them”) must be observed at night and in the morning, and under all circumstances. On a more literal level, however, these words also address the mitzvah to give your children a proper Jewish education, the opening theme of this verse: “you shall teach them to your children.” In other words, your concern with fulfilling this command must be “when you sit in your house and when you go on the way; when you lie down and when you rise”.

This means that the education of our children, and by extension, all Jewish children upon who we can have an effect, must constantly be on our minds. Our children’s Jewish education is not only an issue for “when you sit in your house”, when we focus on our family life. Even as we “go on the way” to earn a living and go about our daily affairs, we must be constantly thinking and strategizing how to ensure that the next generation will receive a proper Torah education. And at the end of the day, as we relax, wind down and “lie down” to sleep, the thoughts on our mind as we drift off to sleep must be our children’s education.

And this too is insufficient, as the verse continues, “when you rise.” Together with the recitation of “Modeh Ani” thanking G-d for restoring your soul for a new day, your very first waking thoughts “when you rise” must be: how will I utilize this day to fulfill my obligation to teach the Torah to my children?

Taken from Sichos Kodesh 5737 vol. 2, 20 Av

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