The Daily Portion
Children's author Chaim Walder's message to youngsters/ Rabbi Kottarsky's to their parents

Chaim Walder, as always, knows how to reach young people's hearts. And at the Chabad Kinus, Rabbi Kottarsky did the same for adults.

Sivan Rahav-Meir ,

Chaim Walder and books
Chaim Walder and books
Daniel Ratzbi

Advice from Chaim Walder, children's author*

I hosted a ZOOM meeting yesterday with the prominent children's author and educator Chaim Walder in the presence of 5th-9th grade girls. Walder shared four pieces of advice appropriate for girls in this age group, especially during these days of the corona:

1. *Your self-confidence depends on you alone and not on others.* At this tender age, there is an exaggerated dependence on the words and actions of others. If a close friend suddenly becomes a bit friendlier with another girl, that could unbalance you completely, and if your self-confidence is derived exclusively from those around you, you have a problem. You need to find the good things inside you and to believe in yourself. In this time of the corona, there is an opportunity to build an independent self. By doing so, you will avoid suffering all your life from dependence on what others do or say.

2. *You alone can tell the story of your life.* Don't allow others to tell it. In the Torah portion that we read on Shabbat, we learned that our Mother Sarah acted at the age of 100 as she did at the age of 20. It's written that all the days of her life were equally good. That is, even in the difficult years she did not break. True, you cannot always choose what will happen to you, but you can choose how to interpret what happens to you, and how to react. Try to write your own story.

3. *Life is not just instant gratification.* This world is attracted to instant gratification. These days of the corona cause us to waste time and submit to tempting instant gratification, primarily in front of cell phone and computer screens. To exert effort, to move forward, to study, to volunteer, to build your personality -- none of these are fun. They build you up for future, but not instant, gratification. You do not need to live all the time exclusively for the future, but you need to find the right dose of immediate pleasure in your life. I have not yet seen anyone who lived only for instant gratification and succeeded in life.

4. *Your heart is not meant for storage*. During these are stormy years of your youth, you must have an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. You must have some adult with whom you can regularly speak. It is best if this is one of your parents, but it could be your grandmother, a counselor, or someone else. If something happens, if someone hurts you, if you do not feel right, you need an adult close by, upon whom you can rely.

Much success to all of you!

Sivan continues with a message from the Chabad Kinus for adults as well:

I was in this same auditorium a year ago with 4,000 Chabad emissaries. Yesterday, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky who oversees Chabad religious and educational institutions worldwide, stood there alone, without an audience. The famous annual photo of the emissaries was not taken since everyone had been requested to stay home due to the corona. During such a difficult period, the message of Rabbi Kotlarsky to the thousands of Chabad emissaries who watched, and to the entire Jewish world, was especially important:

"In this week's Torah portion, our Father Yitzchak finds himself facing a difficult test. His enemies plug up all the wells that his father Avraham had dug. What does he do? He goes and digs new wells. He finds new ways to reach fresh water. We face a similar challenge today. Synagogues are closed, congregations cannot meet, people cannot even make it to a Passover Seder or to a Rosh Hashanah service.

"What do we do? We go out and dig new wells. We give remote classes and learn online, we send hundreds of thousands of Seder kits to people who never held a Seder all by themselves, we conduct prayer services outdoors according to the guidelines. We could have taken account of the corona and said: 'We're sorry, this is a time when we want to act – but we simply cannot'. But this is not the answer. We can always find new ways.

"What is the exact prescription needed to remedy this situation? Sometimes when someone is sick and the doctors do not know the exact medication to give, they prescribe a medication cocktail. They simply take the best from everything. So too must we do at the present time. We must take from all the good and healing things that we have – kindness, Torah, tefillin, tzedakah, mezuzah, prayer. This is the way to move the world forward to the end of this plague, to true and complete redemption."

• Translation by Yehoshua Siskin