Showing posts from June 17, 2012

Swimming with your children: Father's Day 2012

Perhaps the most known piece of Rabbinic literuature that speaks about the responsibilities of a father to his children can be found in the Babylonian Talmud (Kiddushin).

"The father is required to Circumcise his son; to redeem him [referring to the first-born son, as per the Biblical passages in Numbers 18: 15-16]; to teach him Torah; to assure that he marries; and to teach him a trade. Some say he must also teach him to swim. Rabbi Judah says, whoever does not teach his son a trade teaches him robbery 

In the mishnah, the rabbis agree that a father should teach his son a trade.  This is probably in order for his son to be self sufficient.  Perhaps this is more about self preservation, I mean, you love your children, but by the time he is 40, one would hope that he is not still living on your couch if he can actually work!  

Why did only some say that a father should teach his child how to swim?  Perhaps it was because it was redundant.  The text already said that you should teach …