Bringing Up a Son to be a Godol HaDor

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  • #605228

    Naysberg
    Member

    What suggestions can you share towards the goal of bringing up my son to be a godol hador?

    #899911

    By acting as a Tzadik yourself. Both in public and, just as importantly, when in complete privacy. Children pick up from their parents behavior even when you think they will never know what you are doing.

    #899912

    musser zoger
    Participant

    Go to see a mekubal and give him whatever he asks. It is a segulah.

    Oh yeah and do what TLKY said. you can’t miss.

    #899913

    zalman
    Participant

    be honest, you don’t want him to be a gadol hador. If you really do, don’t send him to English & get him tutors for extra learning during the day & evening. Spend many hours on Shabbos learning with him. & don’t let him waste time with ball etc.

    #899914

    Yiddishe Kup
    Member

    I can guarantee you one thing: If you attempt to bring up your child as a gadol hador, you can be certain he won’t become one.

    From revach.net website

    Parshas Vayeishev – How To Make Your Child Smart

    The pasuk says about Yosef that he was Yaakov’s Ben Zikunim. Literally this means the child born in his old age. Yet Targum Unkelus chooses to veer from the literal meaning and translates it as “Bar Chakim”, his wise son. Why does Unkelus do this?

    The Chinuch Malchusi explains that baby of the family usually gets the most love. The older children must endure the father’s vision and his desire to raise the ideal child, the child of his dreams. When they fall short they pay the price and become a disappointment to their parents.

    Not so the baby who is often treated more like a grandchild than a child, as he is overloaded with love and affection. Reality has set in, expectations are lowered, and age has softened the staff of the parents. The parents learn how to appreciate the good in the child, a thing that a well seasoned parent no longer takes for granted.

    In this environment the child can flourish. His mind is at ease and his emotional needs satisfied. “Do not hit a child too much”, says Rabbeinu Gershon (Bava Basra 21a). “No one ever got smarter from being beaten.” With love you can do so much more!

    #899915

    luv2Bjewish
    Member

    Never yell or scream at him when he does something that you feel is not on the path of being a great person. Let him breathe a little and pick up the value and love of mitzvos from you. Also, dont pressure your son. Dont make him feel that he needs to be the next gadol hadar. He should want it, not resent it because you’re forcing it on him. Oh and btw growing up to be a regular erliche Jew is also a wonderful thing.

    #899916

    seedys
    Participant

    Adding to the Livtvishe Kiryas Yoelite_

    Daven every day for your children’s spiritual, physical and emotional health.

    If they don’t grow up to be gedolei hador, that’s OK too. You try your hardest to raise them properly and Hashem will help.

    #899917

    golfer
    Participant

    Are you for real naysberg? Or just having fun here?

    How about you just try to raise your son to be a good, happy, ehrlich Yid.

    Challenging, but with a lot of effort & even more siyata diShmaya, it may happen.

    Wishing you much nachas!

    #899918

    srugee123
    Member

    Dude are you crazy? why do u want ur son to be the gadol hador? its parents like you who deystroy Jewish children

    #899919

    srugee123
    Member

    everyone here should read every single one of these articles before they embark on making there kids the gadol hador http://drsorotzkin.com/articles.html#Parenting1

    #899920

    Feif Un
    Participant

    My brother once told me a story about someone whose parents pressured him a lot. I don’t remember who it was with exactly – it might have been R’ Shlomo Zalman zt”l.

    This boy’s parents wanted him to be the next gadol. They pressured him to learn all day. No time for playing – only for learning. R’ Shlomo Zalman heard about it and was against it.

    Sure enough, when the boy got older, he resented his parents for it, and went completely off the derech. When R’ Shlomo Zalman heard this, he said, “Kids need to play. If they doesn’t play when they’re young, they’ll play later.”

    #899921

    Josh31
    Participant

    Unfortunately many Bar Mitzvah boys are expected to wear the Crown of Piety and Fear of Sin.

    Some of them rebel.

    #899922

    WIY
    Member

    Naysberg

    Not one of the parents of the Gedolim of this or previous generations brought up their sons to be Gedolim. They tried to bring them up as Ehrliche Yidden.

    from Revach.net website

    Chinuch: Raising Adults From Belz to Vizhnitz and Beyond…

    “For I have made Paroh and his servants hearts heard in order to place my signs in their midst. And so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son etc. and you will know that I am Hashem” Why does the pasuk say, “and you will know that I am Hashem” – it should have said, “And so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son etc. and they will know that I am Hashem”?

    The Belzer Rav answers; there are parents that want the best for their children. They will send them to the best Yeshivos, make sure they are learning well by having the best tutors for them, and always keeping them in the frummest surroundings…. .

    However, the parents themselves want to keep their old life style. They won’t open a Sefer to learn. They won’t come on time to davening etc. They will just push their children to do so. This, says the Belzer Rav, will not work. If one wants his children to be Ehrlicher Yidden, he must be Ehrlich himself and let his children follow his lead. “In order that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son” – to transmit the Torah to them… “you must know that I am Hashem” – First you yourself must recognize Hashem and then it will be transmitted to your children!

    The Vizhnitzer Rebbe was once asked what is correct approach for father to deal with his little children during a long davening? The Rebbe answered that he has seen two approaches that share a common result. One father davens with great kavanah while his kid runs around like a “Vilde Chaya”. The other father spends a good portion of his davening catching up on the week’s gossip but he makes his child sit in his place and daven like a good boy. What happens to these two children when they grow up? The Rebbe answered, “They each daven exactly like their father!”

    There’s no way to guarantee how your child will turn out, but kids tend to follow their parents example. If you openly love your Yiddishkeit and you openly love Hashem and it is obvious to them, it will certainly rub off on them and they will bezras Hashem take after you.

    #899923

    yytz
    Participant

    I read an article recently by someone who heard a father say, I don’t understand why my kids are so serious and somber. The author of the article had noticed this too — the father’s kids seemed withdrawn and never laughed and played like other children. The author asked the father, Do you ever tell them stories? He said, Yes, I tell them stories about gedolim. The author suggested he treat them like kids, and tell them stories about princesses and kings and such. Like someone said above, kids need to be kids.

    On the other hand, it can be positive for kids to hear stories about gedolim and tzaddkim. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, who was the great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, attested that hearing stories about tzaddikim as a young child inspired him to put in the effort in Torah study and prayer to become what he became.

    #899924

    Naysberg
    Member

    I don’t understand the skeptism.

    Who wouldn’t want their son to grow up to be a tzadik and godol b’Torah? So who wouldn’t work towards achieving that goal?

    I still look forward to more advice in this regard. And thank you all for the advice already shared!

    #899925

    The little I know
    Participant

    Perhaps in an existential sense, every child has the potential to become a gadol hador. But, as we are told about the coming of Moshiach, it tends to occur with ???? ????. What is meant by this is that the goal of parenting is to continue the Golden Chain of our mesorah from ??? ??? ???? ????? and to pass it on to our future generations. This ideal of the “gadol hador” is neither meaningful, nor is it possible.

    It might be worthwhile to visit or revisit the instructions given by Rabi Yehuda Hanasi to his children prior to his passing (Kesubos 103b). Each was guided to maximize his own potential. Only one was instructed to continue the royalty that he had himself inherited. That is responsible parenting.

    A fatal flaw in our chinuch system is the delusion that yeshivos can create gedolim. That’s why so many try to set ridiculous standards, with denying admissions, expelling talmidim for being a challenge, etc. Just peruse at the biographies of the roshei yeshivos of prior generations. Look at the pictures, and tell me if today’s white shirts are faring better than the average talmid of R’ Shimon Shkop.

    It is no smarter for parents to live in such a fantasy than it is for yeshivos.

    Another interesting observation about the OP is that it seems to suggest that the individual’s own bechirah is at best a secondary matter. How foolish! A child with the best of environments can still choose otherwise. Tefilloh makes a big difference, since we mortal humans have a minimum of real control.

    #899926

    Yiddishe Kup
    Member

    Naysberg? Why do you wan your son to be a gadol hador?

    #899927

    Naysberg
    Member

    Who wouldn’t want their son to be a godol b’Torah???

    #899928

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Teach him how to fundraise. Gedoli Hador get that way by being a R’Y of a yeshiva and you get to be a R’Y by opening a Yeshiva (Or marrying into the R’Y family)

    #899929

    Yiddishe Kup
    Member

    Nasberg: you are avoiding the question. Not everyone thinks about their son becoming gadol hador, let alone go onto a public forum asking for ideas how to make it happen.

    Those that try to make an effort to make it happen, have very varied reasons. Be honest with yourself and state what your real reason is.

    #899930

    Naysberg
    Member

    Some people hope their son will be a doctor or lawyer. Frum people hope their son will be a godol b’Torah. And of course it takes an effort by the parent.

    #899931

    WIY
    Member

    Yiddishe Kup

    You expect him/her to actually share the truth with us?

    #899932

    WIY
    Member

    Naysberg

    Your OP is “Bringing Up a Son to be a Godol HaDor.” Thats of the elite few in every generation. You can be a Gadol Betorah without being a Gadol Hador. My Rav is a Gadol bTorah but I don’t think he is one of the Gedolei Hador, although he is an amazing Rav.

    I have a better idea, why dont you become a Gadol Hador and stop trying to live through your child?!

    #899933

    Yiddishe Kup
    Member

    How fast you changed it from godol hador to godol b’Torah.

    WIY: No, I don’t expect him to tell us the truth. I asked because I wanted HIM to recognize the truth.

    I have a better idea, why dont you become a Gadol Hador and stop trying to live through your child?!

    love it

    #899934

    RabbiRabin
    Member

    It might help for you to stop hanging around the YWN coffee room and show him an example of what a Gadol Hador would do with his spare time.

    #899935

    BaalHabooze
    Participant

    R’ Chaim Volozhin was asked by the Russian Minister of Education, at what age do you start to be mechanech your children? He answered, 20 years before they’re born.

    This is a famous story, and it’s lesson is beautiful. If you want your children to be a certain way, YOU HAVE TO BE THEIR EXAMPLE. if you want your kid to be a Godol HaDor, you have to be a living example of what a Gadol HaDor should act like. Your training is their training in both middos and what will create their second nature. A parent molds and shapes his child through HIS character and personality. Unbeknownst to you, he picks up on every little thing we do and say, how we act and react.

    #899936

    tzaddiq
    Member

    r’ orlofsky once said that -generally- the difference between a parent in israel and a parent in america, is how they bring up their child. the parent in america tries his hardest to raise his child to grow up to be an ehrliche yid. the parent in israel raises his kid to be a kodosh.

    kudos to Naysberg for his good intentions in raising his child to be, not good, but great.

    #899937

    bubka
    Participant

    A godol was asked by a yid when he should start training his son to become a godol. His response was that it is too late. You need to start 9 months before he was born.

    #899938

    Nechomah
    Participant

    I think the main thing is to instill in a child love of Torah. Like other posters said, setting a good example for him is paramount. Also, encourage him from when he is small. Ask for his participation in discussions at the Shabbos/dinner table. Go over what he learned. Encourage him to learn with you – make this fun and interesting. Ask him to prepare/share a vort at the Shabbos table.

    If he loves learning and either 1) he is brilliant and it comes easy, 2) he is not brilliant but he really wants to persevere, then he will hopefully learn to love Torah and learning Torah. Once that cycle begins, then it will be up to his parents to nurture it and not stunt it and give him the best opportunities to grow to be a godol B’Torah. I don’t think you can do much else except give the opportunity and water the fertile ground that you create. Everything else is out of your hands.

    #899939

    To the OP,

    How are you any different than the parent who determains that his child is to be a star athlete or world class doctor? And then pushes to the point of the child breaking.

    You rob the chilid of their true path, and any chance for happiness. But I guess nothing is going to stand in the way of your “nachas”

    #899940

    tzaddiq

    Member

    r’ orlofsky once said that -generally- the difference between a parent in israel and a parent in america, is how they bring up their child. the parent in america tries his hardest to raise his child to grow up to be an ehrliche yid. the parent in israel raises his kid to be a kodosh.

    kudos to Naysberg for his good intentions in raising his child to be, not good, but great.

    +1

    #1389837

    Joseph
    Participant

    הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, בֶּן חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים לַמִּקְרָא, בֶּן עֶשֶׂר לַמִּשְׁנָה, בֶּן שְׁלשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה לַמִּצְוֹת, בֶּן חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה לַתַּלְמוּד, בֶּן שְׁמֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה לַחֻפָּה, בֶּן עֶשְׂרִים לִרְדֹּף, בֶּן שְׁלשִׁים לַכֹּחַ, בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים לַבִּינָה, בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים לָעֵצָה, בֶּן שִׁשִּׁים לַזִּקְנָה, בֶּן שִׁבְעִים לַשֵּׂיבָה, בֶּן שְׁמֹנִים לַגְּבוּרָה, בֶּן תִּשְׁעִים לָשׁוּחַ, בֶּן מֵאָה כְּאִלּוּ מֵת וְעָבַר וּבָטֵל מִן הָעוֹלָם:

    #1389864

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Even Gedolim sometimes fail at bringing up a future gadol

    #1389854

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There was a great Willie Nelson song (or was it Lipa) whose title was something along the lines of “Mothers, don’t let your son grow up to be a gadol”…
    From personal experience, I can vouch for the fact that my parents had zero expectations as to where I (or my siblings) would end up beyond “being a mentech”, having a love of torah and yiddeshkeit and never losing your sense of humor. I’m not sure that formula needs much tinkering and the rest will work out as it will

    #1389912

    JJ2020
    Participant

    Become the gadol hador yourself.

    #1389936

    Joseph
    Participant

    Tht seforim hakedoshim say that the work to bring up a child in the derech haTorah begins nine months before birth.

    #1389945

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    JJ2020
    Easier said than done…..how many times have you heard a candidate for elective office whose spiel went something like “who could ever have dreamed that some poishete yid from such a poor family with so little yichus would end up as the 3rd vice president of this legendary shtieblach…”

    #1389951

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    r’ orlofsky once said that -generally- the difference between a parent in israel and a parent in america, is how they bring up their child. the parent in america tries his hardest to raise his child to grow up to be an ehrliche yid. the parent in israel raises his kid to be a kodosh.

    Are these kodoshim among the peleg faction?
    Are these kodoshim mechallel shem shamayim bfarhesya?

    #1389986

    hershh
    Participant

    By Chasidim this whole concept of gadol hador, ben torah, chashuva, etc. is frowned upon. Chasidim are taught that one has to be an eved hashem and do the ratzon hashem not because you will have this or that title.

    #1390486

    The little I know
    Participant

    The return of this thread to the front page of the CR is unfortunate. There is no obligation or benefit to being a gadol hador. Noach did not merit being the survivor of the Mabul because he was the gadiol hador. He was saved because Hashem considered him a tzaddik. HKB”H even makes an oath at birth with every individual to be a tzaddik and nor a rosho. Never, ever is there a guidance from Torah to become a gadol hador. There is a myth that by making yeshivos exclusive that one produces gedolei hador. To date, no one has seen this as the outcome of the exclusivity.

    Next, the question implies that one’s success is the result of specific parenting experiences. Sorry, but I gotta laugh. It is absurd. Everyone has their own endowed Divine gifts. We are each commissioned with a period of time on this world where we are to utilize these gifts to our potential. If I cannot sing, it is unfair to me and others to send to the amud for a tefiloh on Shabbos or Yomtov. To dictate to someone what their future must be is something a human cannot legitimately do. There is much that parents can do, and to defocus onto a societal position is plainly stupid.

    There is the famous quite from the Rebbe Reb Zusia who noted that “When I will be called in front of Beis Din Shel Maaloh, I will not be asked why I was not the Rambam or Rabbenu Tam. I will be asked why I was not Zusia.”

    P.S. There are many versions of this quote, with varying names in place of Rambam or Rabbenu Tam. Let’s not get hung up on this minor detail.

    #1390570

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There are religions whose core beliefs include the notion that certain individuals are “born” into a divine leadership role (not necessarily tied to intellect)…Buddhist monks spend years searching for a child among millions of children who is somehow determined to be a reincarnation of the prior spiritual leader….fortunately, we don’t have that masorah although some chassidus follow the father-to-son line of succession model rather than a meritocracy model. Not sure how to characterize the model where 100+ galachim get locked into a room at the Vatican and send smoke signals once they cut a deal that seems more political than spiritual….our gadolim and multiple gadolei hador are a unique model

    #1390607

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    If you read biographies of gedolim, you will hear stories of how they were raised. Their parents didn’t know they would be a raising a “godol hador” but raised them with a deep appreciation for limod hatorah and a deep sense of being a “yorei shamayim”. It has been reported that Rebbetzin Karelitz (mother of the Chazon Ish) put yarmulkes on her sons from 8 days old and washed neigel vasser with them from the time they were 30 days old. They also say that she was makpid that the walls of her house not see her hair and would wash her hair for shabbos with others holding towels above her head.

    I heard in the name of R’ Moshe that when he was 9 or 10, he learned the entire Mesechta Beitzah with his father on Shavuous and felt he had a very deep understanding of muktzeh from that learning.

    On the other hand, R’ Yaakov Kaminetsky when learning in Sladboka brought home a younger talmid and when R’ Yaakov’s mother saw the boy asked “Who is he? The shechina is shining from his face”. The Bochur? R’ Aharon Kotler (who was a teenager at the time).

    It is a well known story that R’ Aharon’s family kept writing letters to him telling him to leave the Yeshiva and go to University and study math. The Alter had Reb Reuvain Grozovsky intercept the letters.

    #1390583

    Joseph
    Participant

    The Rambam rules that not only the kingship, but rather every position of authority and all appointees of Israel are inherited to a son and to a son’s son, forever. The Ginas Veradim quotes an anecdote of how the rabbinate in Tzefas was passed on by inheritance to a son who was under bar mitzvah when Rav Shlomo Alkabetz ordered the community to wait for the young boy to come of age, and when the son turned thirteen he took over his father’s position! The hulchan Aruch bases a ruling on the same halachah, this time in connection with the local cantor, who retains the right to bring in his son as an assistant and groom him for taking over his position (Orach Chaim 53:25).

    In Yoreh Deah (245:22), the Rema states that somebody who serves as the rabbi of a city cannot be ousted from his standing even if somebody greater than him comes to town. Even his son and his son’s son, forever, take precedence over others. In Orach Chaim 13 the Chasam Sofer writes that he upheld the ruling of Rema that the son inherits his father’s rabbinical position and another Chasam Sofer (Choshen Mishpat 21) also implies this. The Kesav Sofer (the Chasam Sofer’s son, Yoreh Deah 123) confirms that his father implemented the Rema’s ruling in all Hungarian rabbinates that the son inherits the rabbanus. The Mishna Berura (53:83) cites both opinions.

    #1391054

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    In virtually every shul today, a Rav is hired under a contract for a prescribed period and can be renewed by mutual agreement. A Rav who has shown a lack of ability to communicate with the tzibur, has engaged in appropriate behavior etc. will NOT be rehired no matter how many citations he can bring down from chazal. Same for a chazan whose son is tone deaf.

    #1391055

    Avi K
    Participant

    Joseph,
    1. The Rema says that that is only if he is like his father in yira and is knowledgeable.
    2. The Avnei Nezer (312) says that that is only if most of the community wants the son.
    3. In any case as in all such cases minhag trumps the default halacha (see, for example, Amud HaYemini of Rav Shaul Yisraeli, 12,5 – http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=43775&st=%d7%94%d7%a0%d7%9b%d7%a8%d7%99&pgnum=93 – regarding Knesset elections). Many kehillot had by-laws regarding who could be their rav. In Frankfurt there was even a rule that no one who disagreed with their rav regarding the Get of Cleves could be appointed.
    4. For a wider discussion see “פרשת פנחס – ירושה ברבנות” on-line.

    #1391444

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    ***It is a well known story that R’ Aharon’s family kept writing letters to him telling him to leave the Yeshiva and go to University and study math. The Alter had Reb Reuvain Grozovsky intercept the letters.***

    Isnt there a chayrem to read somone elses mail? And intercepting mail is both illegal civilly as well as genaiva.?

    #1391477

    Tom Dick n Harry
    Participant

    I just noticed this thread so I didn’t see everything that was already said, so pardon me if i’m being redundant.

    Not every child can necessarily be the gadol hador, nor is that a goal at all. Gadol hador is a competitive title, meaning greater than other people. That has nothing to do with doing the ratzon Hashem and being an ehrlicher Yid. If you’re in it for the gaava of having a son that’s better than other people’s children, than you are approaching chinuch with a anti Torah hashkafa, and it will not bring good results. Remember the story of Acher? We are supposed to learn something from that story. The lesson is chinuch with motives which aren’t pure will bring bad results.

    If you mean to ask a correct and appropriate question, then you should be asking ‘How can I raise my children to fulfill their potential to the most possible?’

    The answer is give them lots and lots of love and positive reinforcement. Make sure they are always feeling good about themselves.

    Excessive demands could ruin this so be careful. Very careful, more careful than you realize, because it is apparent from your question that you are heading for a disaster in this very area for this reason of making them feel inadequate. If chas vesholom they will feel inadequate and bad about themselves, they will fail for sure.

    #1391491

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    T22T: First, I don’t know what the rules were in Slodbaka as to whether they had the same laws as the USA. Second, once the “Alter” was informed by R’ Aharon what was in the letters, R’ Reuvain was told to intercept any further letters, not read them. Three, after 120, you can go and ask the Alter from Slodbaka. Until then….

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