Imagine a parent bringing a six-month-old baby to the doctor. The mother looks on while the baby screams and squirms as the doctor pokes and pulls and gives a shot. The same baby grows up and is now a four-year-old at a birthday party; her mother stops her from having that final candy that she knows will make the daughter sick. Although from the child’s perspective the mother may seem very mean, she is in fact acting with the greatest mercy and kindness imaginable.

Ki Tavo, this week’s Torah portion, describes a beautiful relationship between man and G-d. G-d promises that blessing will pursue one who chooses the path of growth. But what is “blessing”? Part of the assurance of blessing here is that the blessing and goodness will “pursue us” even though we may perceive it as unfair or difficult while it happens.

Although the girl above may not appreciate it as a youngster, her mother is providing her tremendous blessing. Things come our way in life that don’t always seem like blessings – an illness, a car accident, a disagreement. Yet we never know. An illness may be an opportunity for someone you didn’t expect to show love and caring. A disagreement with a friend can be a healthy experience in your development.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS about blessings in disguise. Maybe you know someone who met his or her spouse after missing a train or flight.


  • What makes an event or experience good or bad?
  • When have you ever experienced something that seemed bad at first, but turned out to be very good?
  • Why is it good to look for a benefit in everything that happens to you?

By Rabbi Moshe Becker

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