We are told in parshas Shemini about the kosher animals and some examples of non kosher animals. However something doesn't seem right here, we are told about the pig that it is a non kosher animal and yet The Torah goes on to say that it has one of the characteristics of a kosher animal, the split hoof! Rav Pam says we are told this piece of information to teach us the number one rule when rebuking a child. He tells a story of when he was a teacher at a yeshiva and a prominent local Rov, one of his bochrim's father's came to him to see how his son was doing. Rav Pam answered that while his son clearly had the potential he possibly wasn't working hard enough to reach his goal. The father of the boy asked rav Pam if he could call in his son? Rav Pam got a little nervous expecting the father to let loose on his son and he would feel the blame for it. Anyway he sent for the boy and when he came in his father said to him "You know son, your Rebbe says you have incredible potential and that if you work a little harder you can be a great talmid chochom" The boys eyes lit up and within days of this meeting he was doing much better with his studies! Rav Pam was overwhelmed and realised that this is why the Torah tells us that the pig had split hooves. The pig is not a kosher animal but it is close to being one!! Even though it will probably never reach that level of being able to chew the cud at least he knows what he is striving for!! When we rebuke a child we shouldn't just tell them what they are doing wrong and lay into them, first tell them what is good about them and then how they can improve. Only then they will listen to us and begin to take steps to improving!

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