Chazal’s Tough Love

It says in a commentary of “The Letter of the Ramban” that you should follow the discipline of your father, and to not disregard the gentle guidance of your mother. Now most unobservant Jews think that what’s written in the Torah received by Moshe is flexible and not at all strict, this is what is referred to as the gentle guidance of your father. Halacha on the other hand is inflexible and requires adherence, what’s referred to as the gentle guidance of your mother. Rabbi Gifter explains: Once there was a boy who loved good food, and a really good non-Kosher restaurant opened in the neighborhood. His parents were very worried that their son would be tempted to eat at this restaurant, so the father told his son not to eat there since it is forbidden (the discipline of the father). The mother on the other hand knew that if her son would pass by the window filled with amazing delicacies it would be too hard for him to resist. So she went to him and warned him to not go anywhere within a block of that restaurant or else he would be severely punished (the gentle guidance of your mother). Is it the mother who is harsh? Of course, not. The gentle mother was doing it so her son won’t even be tempted to eat at this non-kosher restaurant. Sometimes being strict may look mean, but necessary at times.

Excerpted from

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