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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2006 /18 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Is parental love always unselfish?

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski


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Hagar and Ishmael's relationship is a lesson for moderns


“When the water in the skin was consumed, she cast the lad beneath one of the trees. She went and sat herself down at a distance . . . for she said, 'Let me not see the death of the child.'”

                        —   Genesis 21:15-16



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This episode of Hagar and Ishmael arouses some very distressing feelings. As Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch says:


''Hagar's whole behavior is extremely characteristic and reveals the shortcoming, the imperfection, of the Hamitic character. A Jewish mother would not have forsaken her child, even if all she could do would be to try to pacify him, even if it were only to soothe him for the millionth part of a second. To go away, just because 'one cannot bear to see the misery' is not sympathetic feeling for another but is the cruel egoism of a human nature which is still crude. In truly humane people, the feelings of duty master the strongest emotions, make one forget one's own painful feelings and give helpful assistance even if one can do no more than provide the comfort of one's caring presence.''


One aspect of parental love is self-love, because our children are extensions of ourselves. Rabbi Hirsch makes an extremely important point when he says, ''The feelings of duty master the strongest emotions, make one forget one's own painful feelings.''


In addition to loving children, parents have a duty to them. Children did not ask to be brought into the world, and parents have an obligation to provide the child with the means to achieve success and happiness. While we cannot give our children happiness, we are duty-bound to do whatever we can to enable them to find happiness. It is often stated that one of the ''inalienable rights of man'' is the pursuit of happiness. Modern western civilization seems to have interpreted this to mean pursuit of pleasure, as though pleasure and happiness were synonymous. There are many ways in which we can give our children pleasure, by giving them age-appropriate things.


But happiness consists of spiritual fulfillment as well as fulfillment of one's basic physical needs. By providing children with a proper Torah education and modeling spirituality for them, parents can give their children the ingredients from which they can fashion happiness.


Sometimes parents may object to their child's choice of a spouse because it is indeed a poor choice, but the child's passion blinds him to what the parents discern. But there are also instances when the child's choice is in fact good, and the parents object because they feel that the other family is beneath them or follow traditions that differ from theirs. Parents must be careful not to put their needs above those of their child.


Some young people unfortunately behave in a self-destructive manner. Typical of this is the youngster who uses drugs. Distraught parents want to help their child. However, I have seen cases where the parents did not do their utmost to help their child, because to do so would expose that there is a problem in the family that would reflect negatively on them. In order for a youngster to have the maximum benefit from drug treatment it is crucial that parents participate in a parent-support group. Yet some parents have refused such participation for fear that this may reveal that they have a drug-addicted child. Too many cases of drug use go untreated because parents do not wish to confront the problem.


I believe that parents have every right to protect their reputation. However, when this conflicts with what is best for the child, ''the feelings of duty should master the strongest emotions, and should make one set aside one's own painful feelings.''


The Torah is a guide book rather than a history book. The episode of Hagar and Ishmael is not merely a narrative but rather a lesson to be taken to heart.

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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Twerski on Chumash" (Bible), from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR). Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.