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With Mother’s Day 2022 coming up shortly, many have already turned their focus and thoughts toward the moms, stepmoms, aunts, grandmothers and others who have made a tremendous difference in their lives — and helped them become the people they are today.
One rabbi in Florida shared the impact his own mother has had on his life.
“My mom and her family always taught me the value of faith and a love for America,” said Rabbi Pinchas Taylor of Plantation, Florida.
“We didn’t have much money growing up, but my mom would regularly sacrifice her own comforts and even needs.”
He said that his mom, Linda, “taught me that if you want something, you need to fight for it. Never give up. I’ve tried to live with this tenacity my whole life,” he told Fox News Digital.
He said that when he was growing up, “she always went out of her way to have fun with us … She encouraged my brother and me in the things we were interested in.”
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The rabbi, who today is married and has seven children of his own, said, “We didn’t have much money growing up, but my mom would regularly sacrifice her own comforts and even needs to make sure we would have new clothes for school, birthday parties or a chance to go at least a few weeks to summer camp.”
“Looking back now, with an adult’s perspective,” he added, “I can see the efforts were nothing short of heroic.”
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It said that for him, “It’s a pleasure to relive my mom’s interaction with her own kids as I watch her now interact with her grandkids.”
Mothers are “central to Jewish life” and play a tremendous role in the biblical narrative.
He also recounted “a fond and funny memory” that happened on a recurring basis throughout his child. Said Taylor, “She had a tremendous fear of cockroaches. If there was one in the house, she would scream and empty an entire container of Raid trying to spray it while it ran through house.”
Mothers are “central to Jewish life” and play a tremendous role in the biblical narrative, Rabbi Taylor shared with Fox News Digital.
“The first woman in the Bible was Eve, whose Hebrew name (Chava) translates as the ‘mother of all living things,’” said Taylor.
“Adam, the first man in the Bible, has no parental quality in the Hebrew etymology of his name. The maternal role is of paramount importance to humanity,” he added.
“Of the many things I’ve learned from my own mother, having a simple and sincere faith ranks highest on the list.”
“Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah — the four matriarchs — are revered and commemorated by the four cups of wine at the Passover seder,” added Taylor.
“Jewish scriptural tradition emphasizes that the heroic mothers in Egypt risked their lives and defied Pharaoh’s order to drown the Israelite boys in the Nile, and that it was the women and mothers who faithfully anticipated redemption from slavery.”
“King Solomon described all Jewish living experience as being from our mothers (Proverbs 1:8).”
Said Taylor, “It is she who teaches that there is a flavor, a scent, a warmth to fulfilling the commandments. Of the many things I’ve learned from my own mother, having a simple and sincere faith ranks highest on the list.”
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“The mother gives of her essence, nurturing the embryo in her womb — and Jewish law decisively states that being born a Jew is passed on exclusively through the mother,” he said.
He also noted that the “Hebrew word for faith (emunah) is based on the word for mother (em).”
Taylor added, “This root word is at the heart of many Hebrew words referring to deeply internalized knowledge and values that shape us at our core.”
“Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to reawaken our gratitude to our mothers, which we should have year-round.”
“[So] when we seek faith, we are in a sense searching for an inner mother, something to nurture us, particularly during hard times.”
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This is why, he also said, “Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to reawaken our gratitude to our mothers, which we should have year-round, and perhaps an opportunity to rejuvenate our connection with God and our faith as well.”
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Taylor, an educator and speaker, lives in South Florida with his family. He is director of adult education and outreach at the Chabad of Plantation, Fla.