Conversations



While Toras Imecha recordings are focused on the weekly Parshah and upcoming holidays, this “Conversation” page gives us a chance to share and connect with each other over different aspects of our mothering journey. I plan to post discussion questions regularly for your participation. I invite you to please share your perspective and experience with all of us. I can't wait to learn from you!

Each conversation is its own page. Please use the page numbers below to view other conversation topics.




How would you explain the Torah perspective on the privilege and responsibility of motherhood to high school seniors?

2020-12-25

Rebecca Masinter


One challenge is that high school seniors are not yet facing motherhood, yet the decisions they are making about their values, education, and careers will have direct impact on their future families. What can we say to the next generation of mothers to guide and inspire them before they begin? Please share your thoughts!



2020-12-25

Shoshanah Fishkind


This is a question I knew 20 years ago, as I faced my high school students,that I would be challenged to answer 20 years later. My answer would be that which I would hope to give over to my own children over much time. The short lesson I would try to give over is that life is all about GIVING. As we are born into this world, we are born selfish in order to signal to others around us of our needs as a baby/ child. As we grow and mature - which takes a life time- literally, we are learning to be more like HaShem Who is ALL GIVING. If we do not train ourselves to grow from a naturally and appropriately selfish baby (that’s why they are so cute!- self defense!) into giving adults, then we will be left at the end of our lifetime with a lonely, sad abyss of empty selfishness. It takes a wise high school girl and young lady to trust that these years of her youth are to be used to the fullest even if it seems daunting. Because this is what life is all about. Just watch any documentary about the life cycle of any living creature on earth and we see that life-especially that of females is about being a giver and how rich that is over time. We really are born to give and have children, it’s the foreign culture around us which worships sterility, selfishness and immaturity.
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2020-12-25

Esther Levi


I have thought about this question often since becoming a mother. What could someone have told me as a teenager to prepare me for motherhood. And I really don't have an answer. I feel like it's something you really can't understand until you are there yourself raising your own family. But then I see my 7 year old daughter playing house and watch her play the role of loving, caring mother and you can see this is in our very nature to nurture and love and care for another. I think as young girls grow older they do lose touch with that a little and can become more self centered. I think what Shoshana Fishkind said is so true. All we can teach them is to GIVE. Now motherhood will be a whole new world of giving that you cannot imagine but if you are training yourself to be a giving person it can only help you in your future role GD willing as a mother. And there is so much to gain from giving to and loving others.
2020-12-25

Tamar


This is such a great, thought-provoking question. And I'm having a hard time thinking of a real "Torah-perspective" answer. I love the previous answers, as the Torah perspective on "giving" is very strong. I think another facet of entering motherhood involves knowing your strengths and knowing your limits and working with those, but also knowing that this will be the point in your life where you will push your limits :) (I guess that goes with the "giving"). I feel the following is a feminine instinct for most, but maybe gets squashed by other thoughts and needs. Children need mothers!! They need their mothers' love, care, attention, and time. The more capacity that a mother has to give these things, the better. Although these needs can come from other sources, the mother is the best source. So please, let's instill in our girls that caring for and finding time for their children should be a huge priority.
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2020-12-25

Linda


I think the other responses are excellent. I would add that one has to remember that one's children are not necessarily little versions of either of their parents. They may have totally different strengths and personalities. It is a parent's responsibility to recognize those strengths and help them develop them and yes even areas of weakness where they will need some support. In any case, a home should be the child's haven where he feels safe as he/she has parents who not only love them and provide the basic necessities, but are there to support and advocate for them when necessary.
2020-12-25

Dina


I'm new to this forum and just came across this conversation feeling hesitant to put in my two cents. However, being a mother and wife for some time now and thinking about this topic a lot recently I felt like I should share my thought, perhaps they can help someone. I feel that we are taught a lot in schools and seminaries to be giving, caring and selfless. However, what I, personally, experienced before marriage is that i felt pressure to be giving so much of myself to others that I was losing my own self worth and my own interests. I found out very shortly after my marriage that I cannot possibly be a good wife or a good mother if I don't respect myself and don't feel like I'm heading in the right direction on a personal level. So much falls on women's shoulders as a Jewish wife and mother that in order to raise healthy/strong family, she first needs to be strong herself. Of course, every girl is different and every situation is different. Some girls have a lot of family support and have a solid feeling of self worth, perhaps those girls need to be taught more about giving. However, I feel it's important to mention to soon-to-be wife's and mother's that they also need to strongly focus on themselves and figure out who they really are before they get married in order to build a stronger relationship with their future husband and be a strong support system for their children.
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2020-12-25

Rebecca


Welcome Dina! I am so glad you contributed your perspective. I whole-heartedly agree with you that a Jewish woman ideally should develop a healthy sense of self before she can move into the roles of wife and mother that require so much giving. I think it's interesting that we all sense this tension between giving generously and a healthy self, as if somehow they are opposites. Perhaps the theme to develop is "shleimus", the totality of a healthy person made up of many different parts that each must play their appropriate role in the right times. Definitely something to think about! Thank you for your post!

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