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Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
A Special Chinuch Challenge - The Odd Man Out
In Parshas Emor it says “Emor El HaKohanim… V’Amarta Aleihim.” Emor, V’Amarta the double telling, says the gemara Yevamos (114a) teaches us that the elders must warn the children.  We see from here the fundamental requirement of Chinuch; teaching our children to do mitzvos and avoid aveiros.  The Pninim MiShulchan Govoa brings from Rav Boruch Sorotzkin who said his father the Rav of Slutzk used to ask, why is it that the torah chose to teach us about the importance of Chinuch by the Kohanim if it applies to all Jews equally?

His answer teaches us an important lesson in Chinuch.  He explains that it is relatively easy for a regular Jew to be michanech his child in the ways of the torah.   He explains to the child that we are the Am Segula and we are different than the goyim therefore we don’t eat like them, dress like them, and all the other things that separate us.  This is easy for the child to grasp since all his friends are doing the same thing.  However the Kohen has a special challenge in teaching his children the ways of Kehuna.  The Kohen has special restrictions in Tumah and Tahara.  When a Kohen explains this to his son, the child may accept this.  However when he goes out into the street and sees his friends from the best of families, with total disregard for Tumah and Tahara he will have trouble understanding why only he is restricted.  He is not different than them and he is not better than them.  This will take extra effort on the part of the father to ingrain in the children that they must act different.

The lesson is that it is not enough what we teach our kids in our home.  Our children must be put in the right environment with the right friends in order to really take seriously the lessons we teach them at home.  The more our children’s friends look like our children do, the more we better make sure that they also act in accordance with the way we train our own children to act… or else we will have a lot of explaining to do.
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Visitor Comments: 2

Anonymous, 2008-05-15 11:59:56
i love your website and recommend it to my friends always! but something just caught my eye. isnt the nikkud of chanoch lanaar supposed to be with a patach under the lamed of lanaar?
Anonymous, 2008-05-15 12:03:42
Thanks for the good eye! We will amend.

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