When Rabbi Dov Baer of Lubavitch (1773-1827)  was a young father, he and his wife and children lived in the same house as his father, Rabbi Schneur Zalman (1745-1813). Rabbi Dov Baer and his family lived on the ground floor of the house and Rabbi Schneur Zalman lived above them on the second floor.
Legend has it that one night, while Dov Baer was immersed in Torah study, his youngest child fell out of his cradle and began crying. Dov Baer heard nothing. But his father, Schneur Zalman, who was upstairs, also immersed in Torah study, heard his grandchild crying. 
Without hesitation, Schneur Zalman stopped studying, came downstairs, lifted the infant from the floor and comforted him. Within no time, the baby was sleeping soundly. Schneur Zalman placed him in the cradle.  After a few minutes he left the nursery and went to speak to his son, Dov Baer, who remained immersed in his studies, failing to hear the cries of his young son. Schneur Zalman entered his son’s study. As he did so, Dov Baer looked up from the text he was reading. As father and son made eye contact, Schneur Zalman told him, “No matter how lofty your involvements, you must never fail to hear the cry of a child.”
Schneur Zalman’s words are a powerful reminder to those of us fortunate enough to be celebrated this Father’s Day. Fatherhood is not simply something we earn because we have children. Fatherhood is an active process – one that requires us to make our children a priority. Our professional lives are important, so are other aspects of our lives, but nothing should keep us from hearing our children. This Father’s Day, may all of us who are dads heed the words of Schneur Zalman and listen to our children.  
Schneur Zalman’s words also capture the fact that fatherhood does not end once our children are grown. Fathers can and must continue to teach their children. How fortunate Dov Baer was to have his own father there to teach him, to make him a better father. This Father’s Day, may you continue to teach your grown children. And may those of us who are fathers give thanks for the wisdom we have learned from those who have journeyed down the path of fatherhood before us. 
To all the dads out there, I wish you all a Happy Father’s Day. And to all the folks who have stood by our sides and guided those of us who are dads to become the dads we are today, thank you.

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