Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Parshas Eikev: Ben Ish Chai - A Father Tinged With Bitterness
"Ki Kasher Yiyaser Ish Es Bino Hashem Elokecha Miyasrecha", like a man punishes his son Hashem punishes us (Eikev 8:5). Hashem punishes us out of love of a father trying to help his son and not to hurt him. The Ben Ish Chai asks, shouldn't it say the word "Av" father, instead of the word "Ish" a man?

He answers that even a father, who punishes his son for the son's own good, has to a certain degree his own personal agenda. A wayward son is an embarrassment to the father who raised him. Yes he wants to help his son, but he also is angered by the way he is perceived by others as a bad parent. His punishment is tinged with a trace of bitterness for his shattered dreams of raising perfect children.

Hashem does not punish us like an insulted father. He punishes us like an "Ish", a perfectly objective observer of what is good for us, and nothing else.

When dealing with our children, it is incumbent on us to to probe deeply within ourselves and ask, what is for the good of the child, and what am I really doing for my own good.