Even though Mothers Day isn’t technically a Jewish thing, we would be remiss not to stop and make a big deal over our Moms this week. Interestingly, it’s been said that in Jewish life, every day should feel like Mothers Day because our Moms deserve that much honor, respect, and appreciation!
We’ve certainly all been guilty of taking our Moms and mother figures for granted at some point in life, so we wanted to take the opportunity this week to make sure ALL of our Moms know just how loved and appreciated you truly are.
Without question, Motherhood is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. It truly is tireless, thankless, and even sleepless much of the time. But it’s also a role that none of us would give up for the world, because with it comes a special kind of irreplaceable love that is stronger and richer than anything we’ve ever known. And only once we become Moms (of teenagers!) can we truly appreciate what our own Mothers have done for us.
Jewish history is full of lessons to be learned from Moms who dedicated and even sacrificed their own lives to raise their children in the best possible way. From our matriarchs to Miriam to Chana (mother of Shmuel haNavi) to Samson’s mother, we could write a whole book on character traits from these women that we all aspire to emulate as we strive to raise our children. But in the interest of space and time, we’ll just share one story today* as a source of inspiration and tribute to Jewish Moms everywhere.
There once lived a woman in Jerusalem by the name of Kimchis, who symbolized the virtues of modesty and inner dignity and was blessed for it. Kimchis had seven sons and they were the family of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. Indeed, the oldest son was privileged to serve in that illustrious position. On the eve of Yom Kippur he was in the Holy Temple practicing the important and complicated ritual when a message arrived for him. It said, “An Arab king has arrived in the city and desires to meet the Kohen Gadol.”
Leaving the service for a moment, the Kohen went to meet the king. As they were speaking, however, the king was forced to spit and some of his saliva tarnished the garments of the High Priest, making him impure for the holy Yom Kippur services.
The second-to-the-eldest brother was next in line and, by a strange coincidence, no sooner did he begin to reign as the Kohen Gadol, then he, too, became impure. The same thing occurred to all seven of Kimchis’ sons: Each one had an opportunity to serve as the Kohen Gadol for a brief time and then was forced to relinquish it to the next brother.
The rabbis met and pondered the amazing coincidence. “What is the virtue of Kimchis which gives her the great honor of having all seven of her sons serving as Kohen Gadol? Calling the mother before them, they asked her if she knew and she replied, “I have no particular virtues. I only try to be humble and modest both to G-d and man.”
Don’t ever confuse modesty and humility with meekness or weakness. They are in fact, the exact opposite. The strong, loving presence of a wise and dignified mother can empower her children with everything they need to embrace their own strength and step into their ultimate divine purpose.
Wishing a very special Mothers Day to all of our MMA Mommies! We are honored that you have entrusted us with your children. It is a responsibility that we hold very seriously, and we are grateful to have you as the heartbeat of our School Family.
*Source: Story shared in Torah for Tots