This week's Torah portion discusses the contributions of the Jewish people, especially the women, towards the building of the Tabernacle and its contents. There are four types of jewelry for which the women are praised for donating: "chach", "nezem", "taba'at", and "komaz". (Ex. 35:22) The commentator, Ibn Ezra, defines these as earrings, nose rings, finger rings, and bracelets for the upper arm. Everything in the Torah can be understood at many different levels. The Rebbe Rayatz explains that these gifts symbolize ways that parents can relate to their children's education.

"Chach", the earring, reminds parents to listen to the directives of the Torah and Jewish leaders of their generation in regards to children's education. Almost as important is the need to listen to children's conversations with their friends, so we can guide them properly. (Not to mention the importance of just listening to what our children say to us, which a parent could come to ignore during day to day life.)

The arm bracelet, represents proper discussions with children….

"Nezem", the nose ring, represents the need of the parent to sniff out his or her children's friends, if they are a good influence and properly educated.

"Taba'at", the finger ring, symbolizes the parent's obligation to teach and show children - to point out to them - through our words and actions) the correct way to approach the house of G‑d. A parent must explain to his or her child why it is to a Jew's benefit to go on this path, versus the danger and damage of straying from it.

"Komaz", the arm bracelet, represents proper discussions with children. This is the need to be strong when instilling discipline in the child. A parent must stand firm on the important issues of education. This does not only refer to the times when a child disobeys instructions. This also refers to times when everything is going well; even then the child should know his or her parents care, are watching, and most importantly, are involved in every aspect of the child's growth, development, and education.

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul

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