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Letting Go
Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week
Rabbi David Wolpe
Rabbi David Wolpe

When Adam and Eve are fashioned in the Garden of Eden, the Torah makes an important editorial comment: “Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife.” My best guess is that comment was to pacify parents.

You raise a child. You feed that child, care for him or her, stay up late, get up early, worry, nurture and then one day, the child comes home with a stranger and says, “Meet so and so, the most important person in my life.” It is unsurprising that some parents feel hurt, even betrayed. Yet, that transition is inevitable and healthy. The Torah is teaching us that we raise children to love others, and letting go is part of love.

When Eve hands Adam the fruit and he eats it, Adam and Eve are enacting the very same drama. They have turned away from God and toward one another. It is a painful and decisive moment. But without that moment there is no venture into the world, and it is only when Adam and Eve leave Eden that they conceive and have a child. Good parents raise children to love good partners. So it has ever been.

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @RabbiWolpe.

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Ah, it's a wonderful thing. Along with letting them go comes the moment when they seek your wise counsel. Suddenly, to their amazement, to paraphrase Mark Twain, you have grown a brain. You are no longer a moron to be reviled, at whom to have eyeballs rolled. You gain their respect and trust. Soon, Gd willing, you are worthy of babysitting for their offspring. That makes the deal even sweeter! It's a dividend worth waiting for indeed.

A Rabbi who is intellectually honest would also understand the "editorial" in another matter as well.

This quote is when woman is formed. A man shall cleave to his wife. A man and a woman. Or as it is said G-d created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

But I suspect this is beyond what R Wolpe would like to learn from the verse in the bible.

Got the pleasure to meet all the most important persons in my three children lifes. Always let them go. Parents are a thing, partners another. Possible to live together and enrich dialogue. Never Felt betrayed.
Something like .... Paradise :-)

and then if you are very lucky, there comes this magical moment when
you turn 80 or 85 when they return.They start calling three or four times a week. " you must stay hydrated. Don't forget to take your cell phone when you leave the house. Always keep a light on at walking in the dark" Magical moments, indeed

Hi Rabbi Wolpe,
Over the last few years I've been receiving your FB posts and have read many of your articles, and often they have arrived at precisely the right moment. Although my children have not yet brought home a mate, they have left the nest. As a mom, I did my best to prepare them to be self sustaining, contributing members of society--frequently reminding myself that I must one day release them. I remember when my daughter was born and the umbilical cord was cut, my first thought was "thus commences the releasing." The separation from them, or empty-nest syndrome, has still been very difficult and painful for me. Your short article has been very helpful to me today. Thank you.