13 Tevet 5767, January 3, 2007

Pay attention, open up and allow HaShem to speak His Words of Living Torah directly into your mind and heart...
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2007 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

I am a patriarch.  I am the head of my family.  Many do not understand what it means to be a patriarch, there are so many misconceptions.  I am a patriarch; let me share with you what this means.

As patriarch, I am the head of my family.  I must ensure the needs and provisions for my family and household.  I carry the weight of my family upon my shoulders.  While each of us has our roles and obligations, my job is to make sure all under my care can do what they need to do, to assist them each in their tasks and to finish off anything that gets left undone for whatever reasons.

As patriarch, I may be the final authority, true, but this also means that I have final responsibility.  When I make decisions, I must not only take into account the needs and desires of all my family, I must place them first before my own.  Heaven has placed others into my care and has charged me to look after them as Heaven looks after me.  I will therefore take care of all their needs, physical and emotional, providing for them as best as I can.  Heaven, in turn will look after me.

As patriarch, I have the responsibility to make final decisions.  For this, I require wisdom.  True, Heaven grants man wisdom, especially when he has others under his care.  Yet, the patriarch recognizes that the wisdom of Heaven has a special way to it.  A patriarch has a sure source of Heavenly wisdom; it flows from his wife.  Every true patriarch knows that although he is the brains of the operation, this is only so because of the strong good woman who stands by his side and guides his heart.

As patriarch, I must listen and weigh carefully what I hear.  I cannot dictate, expecting others to blindly obey, for every patriarch knows this is the way of war; good for an army, but bad for a family.  As patriarch, I make peace; I seek compromise and do whatever is necessary to maintain harmony within my household.  I do not yell, I do not bully; I have only to speak with wisdom and authority and I am heard.  The wisdom of what I speak is apparent to all; therefore, we have agreement of purpose and find a way to agree in action.  If I cannot create agreement, then maybe I am not being appropriately wise, maybe I need to rethink what it is I am saying.

As patriarch, I must know with wisdom when to be strict and when to be lenient.  I direct my household with incredible wisdom, patience and kindness.  In order to rule over my house, I must serve.  I have found this wisdom the greatest of all. Successful masters know that true mastery lies in serving, not being served.  There can be no successful service without wisdom, patience and kindness.  Therefore, in order to rule, the patriarch does not rise up to the top, on the contrary he descends to the very bottom and lifts everything up onto his shoulders.  

As patriarch, I am guided by Heaven to carry the burden of my household upon my shoulders, quietly, patiently and without complaint.  Only a man with strong broad shoulders can carry his household.  Only a strong man can toil in silence; only a mighty man can succeed in being a true patriarch.

This then is the secret, in order for a man to be a true man, he must become a patriarch.  He must embrace the character of Heaven.  A true man lives to fulfill his obligations and responsibilities.  He does not look away to follow dreams, instead he lives in reality.  The true man recognizes the needs of his family and selflessly works to fulfill them.  A true man feels what others feel, but cannot allow himself the luxury to be swayed by feelings.  He must do what needs to be done.

From the beginning, Heaven has ordained for man to marry and have a family.  In having a family, a man most emulates Heaven; for we are all the family of Heaven.   When a man provides for others as Heaven provides for us, he has become a patriarch, molded in Supernal Image of the Heavenly Father.
Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

Remember your obligations...

phone: 818-345-0888
Stop! Take a moment, and say a sincere "thank you" to HaShem for all the the good things you have right now.