On Fathers

 Posted by on June 18, 2012
Jun 182012
A man at the kotel wants to bring God breakfast in bed for father's day


Did you ever realize what a central role fathers take in Judaism? Fathers loom large in every crevice of our tradition. God is the universal father, and our forefathers are only precursors to a tradition of fathers who lead, rule and advise. They do not diaper, feed and spoil. Fatherhood – in the simple human relationship comprised of Hasing little butts to bed and explaining the myth of midnight monsters – is completely overshadowed. If there would be a religious Fathers Day, I bet you it would be all about THOSE fathers in heaven and above and nothing about fathers who love, care and feed children in the most immediate and consequential way.
It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.
? Barack Obama

It’s the courage to see yourself as a father AND a child that makes one a compassionate and good-natured man.
— Not Obama. Me

That’s the thing; there’s too much “Honor thy Father and Mother” and servitude to parents who were or weren’t the parents they should have been, or honoring forefathers we know little about, and very little appreciation by parents of those honors. Every generation is so consumed with honoring the generation above, no one gets to really relish all those honors. It seems that a lot of effort goes into honoring, not so much in being honored. So I say let us observe the commandment more creatively. Honor thy Father and Mother, god said! I am ready for thee to heed the Bible. Honors may come to me at once, my child!

A friend once said: every generation is so consumed with serving the other, either parents raising children or children serving parents, where’s the generation this is all for?

Us! Let us honor ourselves!

Frieda Vizel

Frieda Vizel left the Hasidic community, the Modern Orthodox community and the Formerly Orthodox (OTD) community. She now lives in Pomona and is actively looking for a new community to leave. She deals with the perplexities of the communities she left by drawing cartoons about them, a habit that gets her into an excellent amount of trouble.

  3 Responses to “On Fathers”

  1. Eizehu mechubed hamechabed es habreios.


  2. Most thought provoking, my dear oy vey. Being a father (and a grandfather I might add) is for me both a serious responsibility and an honor for the privilege.

  3. That last phrase was the Kotzker …

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