What do you do when you do not recognize your children?  Of course, I do not mean physically, as that would be unlikely.  I mean, if their behavior is so foreign to you, that you wonder, “How do I even know this person, how can I love him or her?”

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses a contradiction between two teachings, where one says that the Raven cares for its young, while another teaching implies that Ravens do not care for their young.  The Gemara resolves the contradiction by saying that there are two kinds of Ravens, black and white.  Thus, one kind cares for its young and another does not.  

This is Tosafos’ way of understanding the Gemara.  However, Rashi understands that basically all ravens are black.  The young ravens first have white feathers, and so their parents do not recognize them and do not care for them until their feathers turn black.

This is a lesson for humans too.  When our children (no matter how old they are chronologically) behave in ways that confound us and seem to us like strangers, perhaps they are still immature. We need to do better than the Raven and have faith that our children can still grow and become better, even if right now we cannot even recognize their behavior. They still must be nurtured.



 

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria, (except when, sometimes, I disagree with the translation cool.)