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Meditating on your Belly Button

Sunday, 19 March, 2017 - 10:04 pm

Question of the Week:


Can you explain my children to me? I have dedicated my life to looking after their every need. But if I ask one of them to get me a glass of water they moan and groan as if I have asked them to run a marathon for me. Why is it that one parent can raise four kids, but four kids can't look after one parent?




We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. We have inherited from them the basic ingredients of human nature.


One thing made Adam and Eve very different to the rest of us. They didn't have parents. They were created as adults by G-d, not born as babies to parents. They had no umbilical cords. They probably didn't even have belly buttons.


We on the other hand do have parents. And we inherit their genes, all the way back to Adam and Eve. That's why the desire to look after our children is human nature, but looking after our parents (and our belly buttons) are skills that don't come naturally. Adam and Eve knew how to parent, but they never knew how to treat a parent. This is a skill that we need to learn.


You have indeed provided your children with so much. You drive them to and from school, you feed them well, and buy them everything they ask for. But all this is not enough. You need to give them a moral code.


If children are taught to just follow their heart and trust their instincts, then they will do just that. Their instincts tell them to care for themselves and their young, but not their parents.


On the other hand, if we teach our children that they are moral beings, who can use their free choice to go beyond their genetic programming, they can do what is right rather than what feels right, and what is good rather than what feels good. This means honouring the people who gave you your existence, your parents and the generations past.


Teach your children who they really are. We are not just genes wearing jeans. We are ethical beings with a belly button.


Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss

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