Having four kids, k”h, I’m no stranger to temper tantrums- those of my kids, I mean. I’ve had my share of two year old (and older kids) kick and scream in frustration on my kitchen floor. The kid is angry; no doubt.
Somehow, I can keep preparing dinner while looking objectively at the situation escalating right by my feet. I can think to myself, “I know you’re angry because I’m not letting you hold whatever dangerous object you want this second. But, I also know that I love you and that you love me and that this anger is a result of that loving relationship. In fact this tantrum, does not alter the relationship. The relationship is there and nothing can change that.”
As a loving parent, I can handle your tantrum because I know three things with absolute certainty: 1- the anger and the pain will pass, 2- what I did is for your own good, and 3- it’s a pure expression of our loving relationship. In fact, I can thank you, my screaming child, for reminding me at this heated moment, exactly where we’re holding. I love you.
Truth be told, sometimes I’m not in that objective position. Sometimes, I
feel like am the child having a tantrum. I want to yell and scream in frustration and anger to G-d.
“I do not like what You did. I really do not like it and I can’t stand the fact that You did that to me/to those I love. I do not like You very much right now. I want You to feel my pain! It hurts and You are responsible for the pain. Actually, I tried as hard as I could to change your will about this, but You didn’t. And it makes me mad!”
And as I wipe the tears on my face, I remember what it’s like when I’m the parent. I could kick and scream at You all day, but somehow I stop. Exhausted from a futile attempt at kicking and screaming, and with a heart shattered in pieces, I feel once more that ours is a loving relationship. And even though I’m not grateful for the tears, I am still grateful for the love. I know where You and I are holding. Thank You.
Do you ever feel like you’re having a tantrum with G-d?
Thank you Rivka for asking the crucial question and thank you Mrs. Bronya Shaffer for using this analogy to explain our feelings, which I have then expressed here in my own words.
All pictures by Elisheva Golani