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Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapira: Yaakov Is Surrounded By Hashem's Children
Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapira is his sefer Zahav MiShva on Chumash says that having children is one of the most basic principles of nature.  It is not exclusive to humans, as animals and insects also produce offspring.

Yet Yaakov Avinu does not view his children as merely facts of nature.  When asked by his brother Eisav, in their historic meeting after 34 years of harboring a vendetta, who these children were, Yaakov answers (Vayishlach 33:5), "Asher Chanan Elokim Es Avdecha", children that were granted by Hashem.  Regardless of what happens in nature around him, as every specie multiplies without much fanfare, Yaakov sees nothing natural in having children.  Each child is its own little miracle performed by Hashem.

Rav Moshe Shmuel adds that this was not Yaakov trying to teach his heretic brother Eisav a lesson in Emunah in Hashem.  It was just Yaakov being himself and stating the facts as he sees them.  In special moments of contemplation and reflection, gratitude wells up inside of us in appreciation of each and every one of our own little miracles.  But on a daily basis in our relationship and communication with these kids, we do so on a basis of the more natural "my kid". 

The goal is to live like Yaakov and relate to our children as Hashem's children, and not merely acknowledge the truth of what he taught us.  With that attitude we'd have a chance of raising children whose lights' shine like that of the Shevatim.
RELATED ARTICLES:chinuch  Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapira  Yaakov & Eisav

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