(Exodus 1:1) says, "And these are the names of the descendants of Israel who came
with Jacob to Egypt, each man and his household...". The Torah specifies "each
man and his household," telling us that the family is the key unit in the Torah's
The midrash teaches that Yaakov understood
the immorality and spiritually impure atmosphere of exile, so he had all who came with him
to Egypt marry before leaving - even the young grandchildren who were still babies.
Marriage is a protective shield against immorality.
A strong Jewish home is the only refuge
from the outside influences of golus and Yaakov wanted all of his descendants protected.
The Chasam Sofer says that each "house" was a house of Torah study. They
transplanted to golus the life devoted to study that they had back home. Rabbi Shimshon
Rafael Hirsch writes that the Torah repeats reference to Jacob ("who came with Jacob
to Egypt" - he was called both names "Israel" and "Yaakov") in
this verse just before saying "each man and his household" to emphasize that
each household was dedicated to Yaakov's holy Torah heritage. The Sefas Emmess says that
the fact that they came as Jewish households is what set them up for salvation from Egypt.
We learn from "Man and household"
that the Jewish home is central to Torah tradition and protects us from outside forces
when we are vigilant to keep it spiritually strong.
The family is also the building block of
the community, the basic unit of society; and is the building block of the continuation,
through the generations, of our people and our Torah tradition.
This Family, Parents & Children section
is dedicated to the strengthening of our valuation of the Jewish family; and of its
structure, centrality, integrity, maintenance and well-being.
- Rules, Roles and Dynamics in the Jewish Family
- Selected Laws For Raising Children and For Honoring Parents
- Practical Strategies for Raising Good Children
- Responding to Family Trouble With Halacha and Healthy
- The Healthy Family Unit - Instrument For service of G-D