Top of the evening everyone...
I had a conversation today that I did not enjoy. The mother of one of the recent bar mitzvah kids popped in to thank us for how nice we were to her son. She talked a little bit. I talked a little bit. She said something about perhaps coming to services a little more often. I said that she can come any time she wants. She said maybe, but the problem is that her son plays hockey, and they cannot get to services. I said that my son has a black belt. He goes to services. She said the statement my colleagues and I all hate: "Well of course...you are the rabbi."
It is true. I am the rabbi.
I am the rabbi. So is my esteemed bride. I work a full-time job. Jennifer works a part-time job. We drive a mini-van. We do not have a second car. We have a mortgage. Our kids are in day school until at least 3:50 every day. All three of them take karate, and get there via city bus. Our day is 24 hours long. Our struggles as karate parents are no different from anyone else's.
My eldest, the only child of age, is a gifted Torah reader. He puts on his tefillin every day. He keeps Shabbat. And do you know why? Because it is what he has seen and known since day one.
I am the rabbi. That has some bearing on the choices I make. It has no bearing whatsoever on the implementation of those choices.
Folks, if you want your children to grow up in a certain way, live that way. They will model your behaviour. On the Jewish stuff, my kids all knew kiddush before they were old enough to start karate. These are choices that we make as parents. If we want our kids to be something, we have to raise them to be something, and not just hope it turns out for the best. Parenting is an active process. It cannot be done by remote control.
Good night everyone.