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Author Topic: The story of Chana and her seven sons  (Read 7113 times)
Tzippy2
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« on: December 06, 2007, 05:04:57 AM »

As a child, I found the story of Chana and her seven sons' sacrifices uplifting though also quite scary. Now as a mother I instinctively feel like 'shielding' young children from such stories, especially the gory details that seem to be part of the storytelling.  Is it right to follow these instincts, or are these stories part of a the Jewish training of being willing to give up our lives for Torah that we should be inculcating in even very young children?
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Tzippy2
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 03:15:15 PM »

I agree with you that the lessons of stories from our history can be applied in other ways to our lives today.  But truthfully, times are not really that different than they were then.  We never know what tests we or our children may have to face.  The Holocaust happened in our very recent history, and Islamic violence and anti-Semitism is quite prevalent today.  Perhaps we should be psychologically  preparing our children for such potential challenges and dangers, without scaring them.  Is this possible?
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Hally2
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 01:14:13 PM »

I think there is a way to sort of modify a lesson from such Tanach stories. We live in a very different time and we need to understand that some lessons from the Tanach are maybe not meant to be taken literally. Maybe from the story of Chana and her seven sons we can teach our children the importance of standing up for out Judaism.
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Aliza1
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2007, 12:11:01 PM »

I think it also depends on the child's age and level.  At a young age we can teach our children "modified" versions, or maybe only teach them g-rated stories.  However, I think it is important not to shield our children from any part of Torah, rather we should wait until they are ready to hear and grasp what it is that we want to teach them.
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chaya3
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 11:58:58 PM »

I think it takes much talent to know how to present most of tanach to
the very young, and as they grow more mature what points to stress.
Some people are born mothers and born teachers...but what about
the mothers out there like me who feel insecure in this area?
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Brochi
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2007, 06:23:47 AM »

Chaya, you should not feel insecure as a mother.  Hashem gives every person the ability to fill the role that he gives them completely; if He made you a mother, He will give you the inner wisdom to know how to relate to and teach your children on their level.  I also share your feelings of insecurity, and wanted to run to parenting classes, or speak to my teachers befre opening my mouth to my kids.  My husband told me that although I should seek advice when I feel I really need it, I must tap into the inner wisdom that Hashem put inside me, but I feel too unsure about to act upon.  Try to think about how you would simplify various stories of Tanach or current events to your children, and then you will be prepared when these things come up. 

It helps to listen to tapes and read children's books to see how professionals deal with these questions.  Rabbi Juravel has great children's tapes, which explain Tanach, Parsha, holidays, etc. to kids.  His heavy "Brooklyn accent" and grammar  bothers some parents, but his explaining of concepts is great.  An example: he describes 'government' as ' bosses of a town.  They are in charge of the police, the fire department, even the sewer system!'  This is a way to make a vague concept concrete and tangible to kids.

After putting in thought and preparation, you will feel more confident in your mothering abilities.
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Hally2
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2007, 01:26:18 PM »

I highly recommend reading Rabbi Avraham Twerski's books on self esteem and also on how to raise children. Every night my husband and I try to read from his book on raising children "Positive Parenting". Even though we are only just B"H expecting our first child in just a few days (any advice on how to prepare for that would be nice!), I like that we are trying to prepare as much as we can. Although I know that much will come with practice and it will be hard to anticipate what the future will bring, I at least feel more prepared and am able to reflect on ways to be a good mother. But, I like what Brochi said about Hashem giving us the koach. I guess its a matter of doing the necessary preparations but then leaving the rest up to Hashem. We are only human and we must remember that greater power in this world. That knowledge  helps me get through everyday personally
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gittel2
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2009, 04:25:41 AM »

Chana and her seven sons are real Jewish heroes Who represent the authenticity and antiquity of our heritage. They gave up their lives Al kiddush HaShem. And so we can live as Jews. We have some thing to live for, because we have some thing to die for.
chana and her seven sons are buried in a cave in the old cometary in Sfat, just down the hill from the Ari Mikve. It is good chinuch to bring our children to the graves of the Tzadikim to pay respect. And to bear witness that our heritage is true. It is made of real people like our selves. In the merit of our ancestors may our children live long healthy lives filled with the joy of Torah.
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Sara76
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 07:32:13 AM »

As a Ba'al Teshuva, I find that Jewish Hero/Heroine stories have much, much more value than Grimm's Fairy Tales which were very grisly, and had no intrinsic value at all. What does a child gain from learning the story of Red Riding Hood which is a story of a child going to visit her grandmother, and instead of finding her grandmother in her home, she finds a wolf who has eaten the grandmother, and wants to eat little Red Riding Hood. Where is the value in this? Where is the learning? There are hiden meanings in this story, none of them Torahdich.
If you want to contrast another Chana story with the story of this Chana who gave her life and the life of her children Al Kiddish Hashem, there was another Chana who also had seven sons, who all merited to become Kohen Gadols. When asked how she merited this, she replied that the walls of her home had never seen a hair on her head, and that in the merit of tznius, her sons merited to be the Kohen Gadol.
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