The Book I Hate Most (9-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

The Book I Hate Most (9-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Some inspirational thoughts on giving when you’d really rather not.


  1. thank you ChanaJenny!! Wonderful peptalk as usual — perfect timing for what we all feel:)

  2. I have always looked at the book from the perspective of how happy the tree was to just give of himself- even when he had to sacrifice a lot (which all parents do in some way) he was just happy to make the boy happy. From this perspective, it actually empowers me to give, to make others feel good and happy. I definitely agree with you though in the sense that it makes the idea of giving like losing out and being taken advantage of when according to the Jewish perspective we gain tremendously when we give. But I still appreciate the idea of getting meaning and fulfillment from giving and making others happy.

  3. Mishlay shlomo . . . “there is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” For me, LOVE COMPELS! The love of Hashem compels me to sacrificially give. Some days I feel completely poured out. Our children depend on us for almost everything and we know, that we must give of ourselves to meet the needs – and thus please Hashem. I am old now – and I can tell you younger Jewish moms, that I gave and gave and gave in caring for my six children. One might think that I must be an old, lifeless stump by now. To the contrary, riches have been heaped upon me – and I sometimes feel as though I cannot contain one more blessing. I didn’t always feel like doing the tasks . . . but love compelled me – and in turn, riches were heaped upon me until there was no more room to receive even one more blessing.

  4. Thank you

  5. Chana Jenny…I don’t claim to be a literature scholar, but I am a writer and an English major. Sometimes, to paraphrase the old saying about the cigar, a tree is just a tree(especially in the case of a writer like Silverstein). I think there is a different message in this ending, and I think that message is what made the book into a popular classic. As a tree, literally, the tree continued to give even when it was so old and beyond its prime, when it was just a stump. How? It loved the boy and saw its raison d’etre as giving. And so, here is its essence – giving to the end by providing the boy a comfortable stump to sit on. I always saw Silverstein as conveying to kids the idea that they should feel such gratitude for this tree, giving in whatever capacity it could, and not to ever take it for granted. That, I thought, was the concept to take away. I see what you are talking about, but I don’t think it’s the author’s message. I know – we can’t ask him anymore, so we can’t know. But I wonder if this sheds a gentler light on the book’s message which you might feel better about.
    On the other hand, if it was a catalyst for the fantastic ideas you just got inspired to share with us, then it doesn’t matter; it was worth it 🙂

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