A Struggling Teenage Boy and Shema Yisrael

A Struggling Teenage Boy and Shema Yisrael

Today my friend Ilana was telling me about her teenage son who has a lot of issues at school and at home. Ilana and her husband have been trying to work with him, to help their son, for years. And it’s very tempting, she told me, after all these years, to just throw in the towel, to give up.

And then, Ilana told me, this morning she was reciting Shema, as she does every morning, and all of a sudden she felt like the words were speaking exactly to her and exactly about her son:
“You shall teach [these words] thoroughly to your children, and you shall speak of them
“when you sit in your house
“and when you walk on the road
“when you lie down
“and when you rise.”
You try to speak to your child, Ilana heard, to help your child, and you just are not getting through. Zero progress. So you try again and again and again and again. When you’re sitting and walking and lying down and rising. You try this way and that way and another way and yet another.
Microscopic step by major stumble by microscopic step.
And through those words of the Shema, Ilana heard Hashem clearly assuring her:
“I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt
“I, the Lord, am your God. True.”
And I can save your son and you.


  1. This is a beautiful thought.

  2. Beautiful!

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