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Toldot: Defined By Action

The Torah describes Yaakov & Esav growing up, and Esav becoming a Man of the fieldwhereas Yaakov is an Ish Tama complete human being. Rashi comments on the words: "ויגדלו הנערים" the boys grew up – that as long as kids are small their characters and morals aren’t clearly recognizable. Only once they have reached the age of 13, one turned to idol worship while the other turned to the Beit Midrash.

Therefore adds the Medrash: at the age of 13, a father says the blessing of: "ברוך שפטרני מענשו של זה"

In other words: even though as soon as they were born they clearly showed where their tendencies lay, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what their essence is. Only once, they are adults and they continue in that behavior, then they can be defined by their actions.

This is the great challenge of Chinuch. To understand children when they are younger is an art, but this really is the crucial time to recognize, who they are, what could be the consequences of every action that they do. Therefore, instead of waiting for them to grow up and then having a relationship, rather spend some time when they are younger, try to see who they really are, and then you will be able to give them the proper direction and the tools they need to continue on the proper path.

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