Absalom: His Legacy, Identity, and Remembrance
was the third son of King David and Maachah.
He was an exceptionally handsome boy whose mother once tied him to the
leg of a table and hit him, with a warning so that he should remain humble,
honest, and caring. She felt that if
he wronged others, the world would hold her responsible.
As an upbringer of her beloved son, she wanted him to be righteous, kind,
forgiving, accepting, and have all the good traits of a decent human being!
this, the twenty-first century, we, as Jewish parents, still feel great
responsibility for the honesty, the education, the work ethic, and more
regarding our children. As did
Absalom’s mother, we too believe if our sons or daughters do not lead a fairly
exemplary life we are responsible. Life
has changed over the centuries. We
have less and less control over our children and the lives they lead.
We cannot really control whether they will remain in the Jewish faith in
which we raised them. Adult children
do not mirror us, the modern boy or girl wants to have freedom, be like his
peers. Their conscience is
“loose,” and does not seem to guide them.
They will accept help when they need it but want to be their own person,
whatever that may mean. They rarely share their innermost feelings with their
parents nor do they care about their parents' directives as sacred.
They answer to their own wishes, their likes and dislikes and what they
hold “sacred,” which is rarely sacred in the real meaning of the term.
They consider themselves “with it” in this, the “modern” age. If
indeed they think of their parents' possible restrictive ideals they think of
them as belonging to “anno domini,”
and as useless/restrictive. They
want to live as their longings, their feelings, and their id demands.
The parents want to be cherished and loved by their children and adapt as
much as possible to the behavior that their offspring exhibit.
They are often afraid to comment on what their “dear children” do
regardless of the repulsion they feel at a particular time. In this life of
anomie, adults try very hard not to antagonize the would be strict or
a result of what has been experienced in this century, divorce is ordinary,
theft is cleverly renamed, and hostility against parents and other would be
parent substitutes are not uncommon. To
please the younger generation seems to be an unspoken rule, be it right or
wrong. Even those who have joined
ISIS are, when caught destroying innocent lives, excused by their parents.
What these ignorant parents accomplish is the destruction of normality,
and the creation of adult children who are convinced “right” is
“wrong” and rules are for imbeciles and fools.
Narcissism appears to be at the core of the behaviors that are today
accepted by many, to the detriment of today's inhabitants.
parents of young adults, we must recognize that we are deluding ourselves as
well as our offspring when we are obviously afraid to disagree, and are
encouraging and accepting our progeny when
they exhibit lack of self control and twist the “wrong” behavior into
into allegedly acceptable conduct. We are willing to agree to
almost anything to be “loved” by those who were our responsibility from
birth through young adulthood.
As responsible Jewish adults, we must remember the age old saying: “Alles mὅg mann tun alles torr man tun dann kommt yo veyomer. (the rough translation is: we can do anything and everything; however, then comes the day of reckoning).