Vayesheb – Do not Favor One Child Over Another

Having children is one of the most joyous experiences in life. watching them grow is rewarding. Listening to their comments and observations is fun.

Helping them grow into responsible adults is a great responsibility. An even greater responsibility is to be sure that you treat all of your children equally. Almost all parents have to deal with sibling rivalry. Children are going to fight with each other no matter what.

I have heard that the Chinese have a philosophy not to interfere with children who fight. (today they have only one child anyway) It is natural so why try to prevent it.

Although you can not prevent children from fighting with each other you certainly should not exacerbate the situation. If you give one child more money or treat one especially nice it will definitely cause more damage than good. Although each child is different you must be very diplomatic in dealing with their differences.

Our Rabbis of Blessed Memory have said that you should be very careful not to treat one child better than  another. Because of a small garment the size of two measures which Yaacov gave to Yosef more than his other children one thing caused something else and our forefathers went down to Egypt.

It has been asked by Tosafot that Hashem told Abraham that his children will be in a land which is not theirs, so how can we say that Yosef’s special treatment caused it. They answered by saying that the servitude would not have been as bad. The Jews would have wondered from place to place instead of being slaves.