Yesterday I delivered a talk to an audience of the alumni of 8200 (a top unit of the IDF Intelligence Corps). We talked a lot about politics, new media, communication and media, and more. When the time for questions from the audience came, someone asked me what my dream is. I quoted that which I heard once from a wise person, who said that he has many professional aspirations, but first, he wants to be a better father, a better husband, a better son and a better grandson. A person can leave behind many things, but his lifetime mission is not just the academic degrees he acquired or the job he had – but his immediate and expanded family.
Precisely today, the Eve of Rosh Chodesh Sivan, a few days before the Holiday of the Giving of the Torah, it is customary to pray about it. There is a custom to say a special prayer today, written by the Shlah (Rabbi Isaiah HaLevi Horowitz) about child rearing. Here are just a few entreaties from this prayer, pleaded by mothers and fathers, generation after generation, until our time: “Let us and our descendants and the descendants of all of your People Israel know your name and study your Torah… And give them health and honor and strength, and give them high stature and beauty and gracefulness and kindness, and let there be love and fraternity and peace among them, and may they worship You with love and awe… Grant them nothing but peace and truth and let them be good and honest in the eyes of G-d and in the eyes of man.”
Amen. Our fathers are the roots, and we are the flowers.