I am sure that many of you give your children a brochoh every Friday night echoing the words of Yaakov Avinu: "May Hashem make you like Efraim and like Menasheh." Of all the great personalities throughout all of Tanach, we need to explore why it is specifically Efraim and Menasheh who were chosen to be the eternal role models for Jewish children.
Part of Yaakov's brochoh to his grandchildren was that the two of them would replace Yosef and assume a status equal to that of Yaakov's other sons in the portions they were promised in ארץ ישראל. Rav Yaakov Weinberg זצ"ל once said that every parent hopes to see their children reach their full potential in life. But Efraim and Menasheh exceeded their potential. They became more than their father could have reasonably expected from them; they achieved a status equal to that of the twelve children of Yaakov!
Rav Weinberg taught that the meaning of the brochoh of "May Hashem make you like Efraim and Menasheh" is "May you exceed your potential beyond anyone's wildest expectations."
Indeed, that is the brochoh we wish for our children and the brochoh we all wish for PHDS/NEAT, the partners in your children's chinuch. Often we see our children reach a milestone and we are so pleased that we may feel content, not realizing that there are always greater heights that they may reach. But, we can always encourage our children by letting them know that we believe in them; we believe they can exceed even their own expectations of themselves. Please remember this message when you receive your child's report card. Believe in your children – they really can exceed your expectations.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School