Let us make sure we are raising children who will grow up to be confident adults, like Moses, rather than people with a slave mentality.
This week’s Torah portion is “Shemot” (Exodus 1:1 – 6:1). Among the many exciting stories in this week’s reading is how baby Moses was saved from certain death when Batya, daughter of Pharaoh, saw him floating in a basket on the Nile and decided to adopt him.
And so it was. The Jew Moses, who was marked for death by Pharaoh, ended up living in his palace and raised as a prince of Egypt.
The question is asked: God could have saved Moses in so many different ways. So why did He implement the most radical, ironic and least expected of methods — to have him saved by Pharaoh’s daughter and live his life on Pharaoh’s lap in the luxury of the Royal Palace?
It is explained that a world-class leader is one who is raised in world-class conditions. A person who grows up among slaves and suffering will never be a bold, confident leader. This is the reality. As they say, it is not nature that moulds a person, but nurture. A person’s talents and capabilities reflect his environment and upbringing.
We see this to be true even before Moses became leader of the Jewish people. Once, when Moses went strolling near the slave pits, he noticed an Egyptian beating up a Jew. Moses could not handle the injustice, so he went and killed the Egyptian. So, too, Moses saved Jethro’s daughters from a group of bullies who wanted to harass them and take their water.
A slave would likely not have had the courage to act that way. But a person who was raised in a palace, living among people of authority and treated like royalty, would have the confidence needed to make such decisions and implement them.
Once again, these events demonstrate that a child’s education and nurturing atmosphere will have a lasting effect. We must shower our children with love and confidence. Let us make sure we are raising children who will grow up to be confident adults, like Moses, rather than people with a slave mentality.
By: Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
For more insights by Rabbi Enkin on this week’s Torah portion, click on the links below.
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