Thursday, July 5, 2018



Harbaugh parents "try not to compare" Super Bowl sons
CBS NEWS February 1, 2013
NFL coaches John and Jim Harbaugh will square off against each other in Sunday's Super Bowl, becoming the first sibling coaches to face each other in the big game. Their parents, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, will be on hand -- although, out of sight -- on Sunday to share in their sons' anxiety, wins, and losses.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Jack said like most parents, they will feel the sting of defeat right along with the son who loses the game.
"Every single parent can identify with that. That thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. On Sunday night, we're going to experience both of those great emotions. Our thoughts will be with the one that comes up a little short," Harbaugh said.
Friday on "CBS This Morning," the Harbaughs said that for now, they are focused on enjoying the moment…
Jack added that he got some choice advice from NFL Hall of Famer John Elway "when Jim was junior at Palo Alto high." Elway told Harbaugh, "Anytime you have two youngsters like this and you compare, you're demeaning one or the other. So we try not to compare. We try to find similarities in the two," Jack Harbaugh explained…”

After the disastrous debacle with the daughters of Midyan which ended because of the courageous act of Pinchas who stood up for the honor of Hashem, the Torah records the consensus of the nation.
Rashi, quotes the Tanchuma, who compares the need for a consensus at this point, to a shepherd whose flock was attacked by wolves. After the attack, the shepherd counts the flock to know how many remain.
When the Torah records the numbers, it does so by family, listing the heads and names of each family that comprised the nation. Curiously, regarding two tribes the Torah seems to be repetitive: “...this is the family of Dan according to their families.[1] “These are the families of Naphtali according to their families...”[2]
Why does the Torah seem to stress it’s listing of the families of Dan and Naphtali?
The Birchas Ish[3] offers a novel explanation: In Parshas Vayeshev, the Torah relates that Yosef had a dream that the sun and moon and stars were bowing down to him. He subsequently related the dream to his father and brothers. The Torah states, “His father scolded him, and said to him, “what is this dream that you have dreamt? Are we to come - I and your mother and your brothers - to bow down to you to the ground?””[4]
Rashi there quotes the Medrash which explains that Yaakov wanted to deride the dream in the presence of the brothers[5] by demonstrating that it was impossible for it to be fulfilled. The moon in the dream was obviously symbolic of Yosef’s mother, Rochel. But she had died well before, so it was impossible for her to ever bow to Yosef. The Medrash concludes that Yaakov failed to realize that the moon in the dream was a reference to Bilhah, who had become Yosef’s surrogate mother after Rochel’s death.
It seems that the reason why Bilhah became the mother figure to Yosef following Rochel’s death was because she was Rochel’s maid. It was for that reason that following the death of Rochel, Yaakov moves his bed into the tent of Bilhah. Since she was now caring for the sons of Rochel, that was how Yaakov could be close to Yosef and Binyamin, the “children of his old age”.
Bilhah herself had two sons - Dan and Naphtali. When Bilhah welcomed Yosef and Binyamin into her tent, it’s conceivable that it was a great challenge for Dan and Naphtali. At that point the attention they received from their mother was going to be compromised by the “favored children” of Yaakov. 
In addition, Yosef and Binyamin were orphans from their mother, and people are naturally inclined to be more compassionate towards orphans. That too would cause their mother to curry additional love towards Yosef and Binyamin.
Although it is logical that Dan and Naftali would have felt resentful towards Yosef and Binyamin, that was not at all the case. When Yosef was sold into slavery, Rashi notes that the driving forces behind the sale were Shimon and Levi. He proves why each of the other tribes couldn’t have been the primary protagonists of the sale, noting that it couldn’t have been the sons of the maids because they had a better relationship with Yosef than the sons of Leah.
The fact that Dan and Naftali had a relationship with Yosef demonstrates that they had a tremendous sense of humility, and therefore weren’t jealous of their half-brothers. Yaakov must have recognized these virtues in Dan and Naftali and, therefore, was not hesitant to allow Bilhah to become their surrogate mother.
Perhaps that is why the Torah emphasizes and repeats the word family regarding these two tribes. It is unfortunately not uncommon for there to arise competitiveness and jealousy among siblings, which often lasts into adulthood, and at times can even effect generations.
The humility of Dan and Naftali had repercussions long after they were gone. Their descendants internalized and maintained their sense of love and respect for siblings, which is the foundation upon which successful families are created. In this regard, the families of Dan and Naftali represent the prototype of a family.
This powerful insight is a reminder that families are built not only on love, but also upon mutual respect. We can love siblings and yet be jealous and resentful of them. For there be to a true familial spirit, siblings must respect their differences and share in each other’s joy and challenges.
Parents are faced with the daunting challenge of, not only raising their family, but also to identify and build upon the strengths and uniqueness of every individual child.
There is a powerful quote in the world of education: “To treat all children equally, is to treat them unfairly!” Each child needs his/her own level and mode of attention and must be addressed in that manner.
It’s a tall and often overwhelming task, which is why we need to constantly daven that Hashem give us the necessary siyata d’shmaya to give each child what he/she needs.

“This is the family of Dan according to their families”
“These are the families of Naphtali according to their families.”

Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW
Rebbe/Guidance Counselor – Heichal HaTorah
Principal – Ohr Naftoli- New Windsor

[1] 26:42
[2] 26:50
[3] Rav Avrohom Shain. Rabbi Shain has quite a few beautiful explanations of some of the pesukim involving the consensus. He derives numerous insights from a section of the Torah which most breeze through when learning it.
[4] Bereishis 37:10
[5] in order to quell their jealousy of Yosef and his “dreams of grandeur”


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