Most of us resist accepting responsibility at one time or another.  Depending on what they are, responsibilities can be challenging and feel burdensome.  Children especially have a difficult time learning that they can’t play all the time.  Sometimes they are inundated by activities, chores and school work and can feel very burdened.  It’s important to help our children find the right balance between work and play, between structured time and unstructured time.

Perhaps we can learn something about accepting responsibility from this week’s Biblical portion. Moses, at the burning bush, does not want to accept the responsibility of freeing his people from slavery.  It means facing the Pharaoh,and Moses is afraid that neither the Pharaoh nor his own people will listen to him.  Moses is a stutterer and feels deeply insecure about his ability to communicate.

In the end, Moses is able to accept responsibility.  God, understanding that Moses is anxious about communicating, appoints his brother Aaron as a spokesperson.  God helps Moses compensate for his weakness.  When we see that things are simply too hard for our children, we need to figure out what their weak spots are and how to help our children compensate for them. We can relieve pressure by helping them address their weaknesses.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS about how a great leader like Moses had a difficult time accepting his mission.


  • Which responsibilities are hardest for you?
  • What do you think might help you meet these responsibilities?
  • How do we balance our time in order to meet our responsibilities but not feel overwhelmed?

By Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

Values & Ethics—Through a Jewish Lens is created by Fred and Joyce Claar to bring the wisdom of Judaism into family discussions.