Most people don't realize the extent of self-sacrifice, both physical (financial, health, time, worry, etc.) & spiritual (e.g. their own learning, marriage, children) that rabbis, community leaders & general volunteers lose by serving their students & community. Rabbi's children especially suffer, resenting the high expectations from a very young age! Inevitably, some even rebel against religion or communal service, either consciously or sub-consciously holding "them" responsible for their lost time with their parent. Some rebel to gain their parent's attention. Rav Kook deals with these painful phenomena of literal Mesirut Nefesh (not just Mesirut "Guf"!) & the limits involved, explaining the importance of serving Am Yisrael= serving G-d.
Rav Kook deals with the unproductive problem of daydreaming, sexual fantasy and pornography, and how it lowers one into a feeling of depression and loneliness, precisely missing the companionship that a true soul-mate is meant to be. He also deals with the problem of cursing, swearing and unclean speech, and the relationship between our thoughts, speech and actions, whether when used properly or misused. The power of speech is also directly connected with the Land of Israel where Hebrew, prophecy and leprosy for Lashon HaRa are apparent. This helps us understand speech in a modern context.
The Talmud in masechet Shabbat teaches that women who are careful to light candles (especially on Shabbat) can affect their children's spirituality. Rav Kook, explains this aggadita very uniquely, as well as that which is written there, that there's also a connection between our childrens' education and our care to observe Tzitzit & Mezuza.
An innocent line in the gemara about "grabbing matzot at the Seder so children will stay awake", is open to 5 totally different explanations in the rishonim, where each one sees it as a springboard for his personal educational theory. Each of these chinuchi and psychological approaches will hopefully, not only keep our children at the seder, but also "on the derech" of Torah and Mitzvot, to stay religious for the rest of their lives. In addition to the Talmudic analysis, the she'ur includes humorous anecdotes and personal experiences, which were originally delivered at a Shabbat HaGadol Drasha.
Question #1: His own Lulav?
“Am I required to purchase for my son his own lulav?”
Question #2: Three-year old Tzitzis?
“At what age should my son start wearing tzitzis?”
Question #3: Minor Kohanim
“I know that one must be very careful that a kohen, even an infant, does not become contaminated with the tumah of a meis. Yet I rarely see a child under bar mitzvah duchen. Is this consistent?”
Question #4: Kiruv Kohanim
“We are in the process of being mekarev a fellow who is a kohen. He enjoys joining us for our family outings, and we love to visit museums. Could this present potential halachic issues?”
As opposed to most societies which see childhood as a necessary stage of preparation to learn how to earn a livelihood, Judaism rates a person by his G-dliness, not his money, and sees youth as more "unadulterated" and natural.
Sometimes my wife scolds our children, in my opinion unfairly. I tell her what I think, but she becomes upset with me. She claims that I offend her in front of the children. I think its fine for children to see parents disagree. What is your opinion?
One of the wonderful things about childrearing is that according to a child's responses we can identify our own problems. Children read the picture very accurately, and by looking at ourselves through their eyes we are able to improve ourselves.