Erev Shabbos Parashas Noach 5773
The long awaited beginning of construction of our new two story, 19-room classroom building is upon us, B’H. Within the next week, major equipment, major changes, and major noise will move onto the Toras Emes campus, IY’H. Even with the inevitable delays inherent in construction, we are fully confident that the building will be completed in less time than it took Noach to complete the Tayva! Seriously, we are looking forward to a speedy project, that will have our students in their new quarters by the beginning or middle of the 2013-14 school year, BE’H.
While the construction process is a challenging one, it should remind us of the most important construction job that exists – constructing our children into adults who will be productive, Torah-observant contributing members of society. Children should wear a sign – “caution, construction zone” for they are truly a work in progress. And just as a construction site features noise, dust and rubble, children produce plenty of that as well. There is anger, tears and arguments. We need to keep in mind that the rubble is a by-product of growth and refinement, noise results from sharpening their tools, and the dust will dissipate and disappear.
Construction is a long, involved process. The workers focus on the day’s goal, ignoring the noise and rubble around them. A wise parent also focuses on the day’s goal, and while sympathetic to the tears and strong emotions, doesn’t get dissuaded or discouraged by them. Recognizing that constructing a child is a long, involved process will allow a parent to net get too overwrought by any one issue. By focusing on the ultimate goal, the parent will be able to align his decisions and actions to the child’s best interests.
Buildings come with blueprints – children do not. We cannot know the end product of the child we are constructing, but we do have an overarching blueprint that guides all our actions – the Torah. The greatest contribution we can make to the construction of our children is to live a life true to the values, laws and outlook of the Torah. It won’t be up to us to complete the construction project – but our children will follow the model we have set for them, in the way we conduct our own lives.
Bear with us as we build with brick and mortar, and work with us as together we build the greatest edifice of all – the Neshamos of our children.
May your Shabbos rise higher and higher,
Rabbi Kalman Baumann