Attitude is crucial to living well. For both children and adults, the attitude we have has a lot to do with how we experience our life as well as how we experience one another. For example, how we approach our required tasks each day signifies a great deal about how we live our lives. If we approach them with dread and resentment as opposed to acceptance and relative good cheer, we communicate negatively to our children about how to get through life and its obligations. To teach our children well about tasks and responsibility means living well ourselves.

Our Parsha this week is about leprosy. Some commentators see leprosy as a result of spiritual illness– it is an external growth that signifies what is amiss inside. It is kind of a “Picture of Dorian Gray” phenomenon– what you look like reflects who you are.

Today, people don’t really suffer from leprosy. Nor do people in our culture generally believe that our appearances are afflicted when we suffer from spiritual illness. But perhaps attitude, as opposed to our appearance, is the external signifier of what’s happening inside. Reflecting on our approach to life and our daily attitude is one way to begin exploring the state of our spiritual health.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT the way their attitude affects how they approach their life.


  • What are the things you have to do every day?
  • Make a list of which things you like most, which least, and why.
  • How would you describe your attitude towards the things you have to do?
  • What can you do in your daily life to make the tasks that you like least more enjoyable?

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.