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The Kabbala of fathers day

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Today is my 35th Father's Day as a Dad, and I've learned a lot of unexpected things. In ascending order; (1) how ignorant I was about babies, their needs, and as extension of that, other people’s needs, (2) how theory and reality do not always match, and (3) how becoming a father profoundly altered my perception of G-d. Who knew that being a father would help me understand HIM better!? But it has. Let me explain.
In Kabbala, G-d can be portrayed as masculine (Hakodosh Boruch Hu) or feminine (Shechinah). Still, He is most often depicted as a Father figure, hence our prayers addressing, “Avinu Shebashomayim,/Our Father in Heaven. True, it's an imperfect analogy, as I am not omnipotent or omniscient. But when compared to my young children, I would like to think I'm pretty wise.
Along those lines, the first thing I discovered when my children were born was how much I could love. Certainly, prior to being a Dad, I intellectually understood the concept, but I could not experience it. Thus when I saw other parents doting over their little ones, I thought them acting affected….and then I became a Dad.
That's when it hit me: My love for my children, Kabbala explains, is merely a microcosm of the love G-d has for me, His child. And when they disobey me, as they sometimes do, my love for them doesn't decline in the slightest. No question, I‘ve disappointed my Father upstairs, but He loves me no less.
Here’s another discovery. I’ve watched my children fight over some little toy, and when they hurt each other, whether they realize it or not, they are hurting me, since I love them both. Likewise, G-d loves all His children, and when we hurt one another, we hurt G-d. This principle works in reverse, when we are kind to one another, G-d is smiling from one Heavenly ear to another.
But the most important thing I learned about G-d from having kids was this: Even when they don't believe it, Dad and Mom know best. Once again, I'm not omniscient. But it's a safe bet that my years of experience allow me insights not available to my youngsters. Extrapolate that idea to G-d, whose perfect knowledge separates Him from me more than what divides my child from me. This awareness has taught me humility and acceptance.
And without a doubt - though my children don’t realize it - that is unquestionably the best Father's Day gift they ever gave me.

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