In this week’s parsha we talk about how to effectively communicate with our children.
A schoolteacher enters his classroom one morning with a new method of education: “I won’t be teaching you in person today,” he tells his students, “instead, I’ll be leaving you with a recording of the class I’ve prepared.”
Later in the day, he stops by the classroom to check up on his students… what a sight!
There is not a student to be found – twelve empty desks stand, each with a recorder, taping the information blaring from his own audio player.
The world we live in has become a systemized one; void of the refreshing personal communication that once existed. Technology has made its impersonal mark on every aspect of our lives; our education system, the workforce, family life, and even our most intimate of relationships.
This week’s Torah portion teaches us how to combat the distance created in our world, through the message of the iconic menorah which stood in the Holy Temple.
The purpose of the menorah was to share its light with humankind. But G-d did not expect the individual to come and find the light; rather the Temple’s windows were structured in a unique fashion so that the inner light of the menorah naturally shone outward, illuminating the path of those outside the Temple.
Similarly, whether we are educating our young, communicating with our colleagues, or connecting to our spouses, it is the steps we take towards them that make these relationships genuine and eternal.
So don’t leave a “recorded message” playing for your children; make an effort to sincerely communicate with them – ask for their input, teach with love, and guide by example.
Our sages tell us, “Devarim hayotzim min halev, nichnasim el halev ” – words that come from the heart, enter the heart. Indeed, when our efforts to inspire come from a genuine place, those we seek to influence truly respond in kind.