Be a Role Model

Your family needs to see how happy you are when you study Torah! If they see this joy, they will surely follow your example. However, if they see you focusing on other matters, it won't help to tell them to learn because you've shown them that you have different priorities in your life. 

4 min

Kalever Rebbe

Posted on 20.09.23

In the morning, you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, you will say, “If only it were morning!” (Devarim 28:67) 

Do You Yourself Study?

A yid, seeking advice in educating his children, met with R’ Yehoshua from Belz, zt”l. This man poured out his heart to the Rebbe explaining that he spared no expense when it came to his children’s Torah education. He had hired an incredible rabbi to learn with his sons; a teacher who was a tremendous scholar, who was pious and truly God fearing. Yet, his children had no desire to learn, and they saw no blessings in what they studied. The man pleaded to the Rebbe, “What can I do?” 

The Rebbe asked, “Tell me, do you have a set time every day to study Torah yourself?” 

In response, the man began explaining how busy he was with his business and that he was unable to find the time to learn. 

Hashem does not present a yid with challenges that he cannot overcome,” the Rebbe began, “and the Torah does not obligate a yid to do something that is dependent on the actions of others. The Torah commands us, “And you shall teach them to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk on the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Devarim 6:7)” There is a mitzvah for a father to teach his children Torah. However, since the Torah never commands us to do something that is dependent on others, it must be that this mitzvah is independent of whether the children want to learn Torah or not. Rather, a father can inspire his children to want to learn Torah. When your children see you setting aside specific time to study, when they see you are learning despite your business, and they see how happy and excited you are about your own Torah studies, they will also yearn to study Torah.”  

Be an Example

This concept is also found by the mitzvah of Hakhel which obligated the yidden to travel and congregate by Beis HaMikdash on Succos to hear the king read the entire Torah to the Jewish nation. Chazal taught (Chagigah 3a) the families had to even take the very young children along so that the parents would receive the “reward for bringing them.” Perhaps, you can explain, that when the children would see their parents taking the time to travel to hear the words of Torah read aloud, the children would learn how to behave when they grow older. They would learn from the example of their parents. And, for that, the parents were rewarded. 

Therefore, every yid needs to commit himself to showing his children the beauty of Torah study. You must be an example. You need to demonstrate how the Torah is the lifeforce of the entire world below and all the Upper Worlds and that it is our spiritual nourishment and sustenance. Just as a person needs to eat a few times a day, in morning and night, to sustain his physical body, so too, a person must establish set times to study the Torah throughout the day; in the mornings and in the evenings.  

Show the Joy

Your family needs to see how happy you are when you study Torah and to attend regular classes. If they see that joy, they will surely follow your example. However, if they never see you learning and, instead, you’re constantly focusing on your business and other affairs, it won’t help if you tell them to study. They have already seen that you don’t value Torah study for yourself. In fact, you have shown them that you have different priorities for your own life. 

A man once told me, that he was extremely busy, because he was managing his factory while also running a Beis Midrash. And, therefore, he simply did not have the time for his own Torah studies. Once, when trying to discipline his 11-year-old son to study, the boy replied, “I learn just as much as you.” 

Similarly, a yid once came to the Kotzker Rebbe, zt”l, and asked that he be blessed with sons who are Torah scholars. The Rebbe kindly answered, “It would be fine if you asked me for a blessing for you to be a Torah scholar. Now that you have asked me only for your children to be scholars, they will also be satisfied to simply ask for their sons to be scholars.” 

The Levush taught (Orach Chaim, siman 47, 1) that the pasuk says (Yirmiyahu 9:11-12), Why is the land ruined (and) withered like a wilderness, without anyone passing through? The question was: why does the land no longer produce children who become Torah scholars? Hashem answered, because they have forsaken My Law, which I set before them, and have not hearkened to My voice, nor walked by it. They abandoned Torah studies, and they did not “walk” in the path of Torah study, meaning they no longer found enjoyment in their own study.  

The Torah Melody

Chazal explains (Megilah 32b): Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Concerning anyone who reads from the Torah without a melody or studies the Mishna without a song, the verse states: “So too I gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live” (Yecheziel 20:25) 

Perhaps you can explain that this “melody” and “song” is alluding to the idea that others must see the joy that you feel when studying Torah. When people see the simcha you have from learning Torah, they will be inspired to also want to learn and study the Torah as well. When one’s simcha is not visible, it demonstrates that they really do not understand the importance of Torah. After all, why would they not want others to be inspired by him to taste its sweetness?  

A Tremendous Blessing

The Zohar explains that there is a tremendous blessing concealed within each of the Tochacha’s curses. 

Our pasuk is teaching that you must establish set times to study Torah -day and night – and you have a simcha from that learning to the point where you are constantly yearning for your next opportunity to study again. As the pasuk says, In the morning, you will say, “If only it were evening!” – when you finish learning in the morning you will eagerly wait until your next opportunity to learn in the evening. And, in the evening, you will say, “If only it were morning!” 

This is a tremendous blessing. When you approach Torah with joy and excitement, you will merit the blessing of having children who are also committed to Torah study. 



The Kalever Rebbe is the seventh Rebbe of the Kaalov Chasidic dynasty, begun by his ancestor who was born to his previously childless parents after receiving a blessing from the Baal Shem Tov zy”a, and later learned under the Maggid of Mezeritch zt”l. The Rebbe has been involved in outreach for more than 30 years and writes weekly emails on understanding current issues through the Torah. Sign up at  

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