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Women's Corner

Parents as Role Models

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe
Wednesday, January 9, 2013/Tebeth 27, 5773

We can learn about the incredible impact of our personal example as parents from the story about Shimshon.

An angel appeared to Shimshon's mother, and told her that she would conceive and give birth to a child who would save the Israelites from the hands of the Philistines. This child would be a Nazir (Nazarite) from birth, meaning he would not be permitted to eat any grapes or their products, cut his hair, or come in contact with a dead person. The angel told Shimshon's mother: "Be careful, don't drink any wine" (Shoftim 13:4). On a simple level, we can understand that Shimshon's mother had to refrain from drinking wine, starting from her pregnancy, because her son had to be a Nazarite from the womb (Judges 13:7).

Later on, Shimshon's father was given the exact same instructions by the angel. Why was it necessary for the father to be Nazarite himself, as well?

There is a deeper hidden message here. How could Shimshon's parents have brought up their son with strict restrictions, such as not having any grapes or grape products, without changing their own diet? Could they eat grapes or drink wine, while telling their son, "Don't! You are not allowed to!"?

If we want to pass on our holy traditions, customs, values, and beliefs to our children, first and foremost we must ensure that we practice them ourselves.

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