Wednesday, January 10, 2007

High Expectations

In this weeks Parsha:

וַתִּפְתַּח וַתִּרְאֵהוּ אֶת-הַיֶּלֶד, וְהִנֵּה-נַעַר בֹּכֶה; וַתַּחְמֹל עָלָיו--וַתֹּאמֶר, מִיַּלְדֵי הָעִבְרִים זֶה. ז וַתֹּאמֶר אֲחֹתוֹ, אֶל-בַּת-פַּרְעֹה, הַאֵלֵךְ וְקָרָאתִי לָךְ אִשָּׁה מֵינֶקֶת, מִן הָעִבְרִיֹּת; וְתֵינִק לָךְ, אֶת-הַיָּלֶד.

6. She opened [it], and she saw him the child, and behold, he was a weeping lad, and she had compassion on him, and she said, "This is [one] of the children of the Hebrews."
7. His sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call for you a wet nurse from the Hebrew women, so that she shall nurse the child for you?"

Rashi comments:
From the Hebrew women.

This teaches that she handed him around to many Egyptian women to be nursed, but he refused to nurse, for he was destined to speak with the Divine Presence.

Interestingly enough, this Medrash is brought l'halachah.

The Rema (SA YD 81:7) rules that a yisroel child should not nurse from an mitzris if there is a viable alternative available. Biur HaGra cites this Medrash as the source for Rema's ruling.

The obvious question is, how could this Medrash possibly be the source for Rema's ruling. The Medrash clearly states that the reason that Moshe objected to nursing from a mitzris was because "he was destined to speak with the Divine Presence", why should that apply to every other child?

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky (Emes L'Yaakov, shmos 2:7) answers, that we can learn from here a vital lesson in how to be m'chanch our children. We must have the absolute highest expectations for our children. We must give them the tools that they need to reach the greatest heights. We must educate each child as if he is a future Moshe Rabbeinu. Obviously no child will speak directly with the shchina as moshe did, however, for parents to deny the child that chance right from the outset, to cripple him because of their low expectations is a sin.