“…Say to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and tell them...” (21:1)
The parsha begins with Hashem commanding Moshe to instruct the Kohanim. There appears to be a redundancy in these instructions, for Moshe is told twice “say to the Kohanim” – “emor” and “ve’amarta”.
Rashi cites the Talmud, which derives from this redundancy that the adult Kohanim are being instructed to teach the laws to their children. “Lehazir gedolim al haketanim” – “to caution adults regarding their children”. If this is the case, let us ask one more question: Why does the Torah convey the message of education with the word “emor”, as opposed to the more commonly used “daber”?
The difference between “amira” and “dibur” is as follows: “Amira” is the relaying of information without any imposition by the person conveying it, it is a softer language of love. “Dibur” on the other hand is stronger and imposes the will of the speaker upon the listener. A parent pressuring his child to behave in a manner different than his peers will invariably fail, unless the parent is able to convey the message that such behavior is in the child’s best interest. The only way that this can be successfully accomplished is if the parent himself willingly performs that which he is requesting of his child.
As parents and educators, the language of love and patience is the best way to communicate. We are role models for out children and the best way of effectively teach is to demonstrate and give over our enthusiasm and commitment in a loving, calm, non imposing fashion.
“Lehazir gedolim al haketanim” does not mean that adults should caution their children, rather that the adults themselves are being cautioned to perform the commandments without any sense of imposition. By so doing, the children will perceive that following their parents’ example is in their best interest.