Having a Bochur at Home



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    Having a Bochur at Home

    You sent him off to Yeshiva as a kid, and now comes the Pesach bein ha’zmanim and you get a bachur back… How do you adjust your home to only improve your bachur and not to have him become a kid again? Some tips from experienced mothers of bachurim • By Beis Moshiach Magazine • Full Article

    Yael Schneerson, Beis Moshiach

    Rosh Chodesh Nissan is coming, and together with all the preparations for Pesach, the yeshiva bachurim also come for an extended “bein ha’zmanim” stay at home. This is our opportunity – and theirs – to experience a feeling of “togetherness” for a lengthy period of time. And it is our responsibility and our privilege – as mothers, to give them a good and enjoyable experience.

    It isn’t always easy; a yeshiva bachur’s daily schedule and his mode of conduct are quite different from the daily schedule of your average Chassidishe child at home.

    EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON YOUR VANTAGE POINT

    This is always the case, in any situation. However, it is especially so when your yeshiva bachurim return home straight into the cauldron of Pesach cleaning. First of all, be happy that they’re coming home. This joy should be conveyed to them immediately. And to be quite honest, why not? Your child, a ‘tamim’ of the Rebbe, someone with whom you don’t really have the privilege of getting close to on a daily basis, you should be dancing every moment with happiness over this opportunity.

    Now, it’s important that you should be aware of changes. Your ‘tamim’ has been educated in a yeshiva during this time, and not with you at home. It’s quite possible that he accepted new chumros upon himself such that even though your home is, thank G-d, very Chassidish, he is setting before you a new standard (and for Pesach yet…). Even his daily schedule is different, and despite the fact that you are justifiably anticipating that a maturing young man would lend a hand and take part in the Pesach preparations, it’s important to do this with deference and sensitivity, so to not to take away from his Yeshiva bachur schedule.

    Be respectful of his shiurim and the “chavrusos” he maintains, his times for davening, which might take longer that you would expect (sometimes due to a spontaneous farbrengen with friends he met in shul…). It’s permissible, even desirable, to enlist his participation in domestic chores. However, this must be done respectfully by giving him his time for his davening and Torah study. You must let him know that you truly believe that this is what’s most important to you.

    On the other hand, if your ‘tamim’ feels a need to take a break from all his study obligations, you can try gently and delicately to suggest that he reduce his learning time by at least an hour or two each day.

    Another important point: As any mother of yeshiva bachurim knows, they are usually extremely tired. In yeshiva, they get up very early and learn Nigleh and Chassidus for many hours each day. Don’t be under pressure and don’t pressure him to get up early. Of course, you can make certain to remind him to say ‘Krias Shema’ on time and not to start davening Shacharis in the afternoon. However, let him sleep a little longer. It’s still bein ha’zmanim (!), and he needs to rejuvenate his strength.

    It’s not all that easy in the days before Pesach to arrange orderly meals, and your bachur also knows this. Nevertheless, try your best not to let him leave the house hungry (and that naturally goes for the other children as well). In yeshiva, he’s accustomed to regular hours for served meals. Of course, you’re not required to adhere to these rules at home, but you can reassure him – and yourself – that during the holiday, b’ezras Hashem, you will serve complete and nourishing meals.

    Find the time here and there to listen to him, hear about his yeshiva experiences, learn something from him (from personal experience, they always have something new to teach us!). Give it a place of prominence in the presence of his younger siblings. Let them see that Mommy is thrilled to hear such things.

    And if we’re already talking about the younger children, share with them as well the feeling of joy that the ‘tamim’ has returned home. Setting a personal example does this better than anything else. And if he has the patience, let him learn a little something with them on Hilchos Pesach, or get them ready for Yud-Alef Nissan with some stories about the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, et al.

    Your ‘tamim’ has decided to take on more hiddurim? Honor his stringencies within the limitations that you set. While you don’t have to turn your Pesach kitchen upside down for him, nevertheless, if it’s possible that you can meet him halfway, then do so. Let him feel that you’re happy that he wants to be more mehader. However, it’s important for him to remember that you and your husband are the ones who decide in such matters.

    This can truly be a most wonderful time, if you use it wisely with thoughtfulness, caring, joy, and of course, a lot of love.

    A happy bein ha’zmanim to all of us!

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    The magazine can be obtained in stores around Crown Heights. To purchase a subscription, please go to: bmoshiach.org

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