web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Torah »

Losing Our Children (Part II)


Freiman-021513-Boy

Someone once approached the Chazon Ish to ask when it would be appropriate to start educating his two-year-old son. The Chazon Ish answered that he was two years too late – children begin learning when they are infants. Studies of babies raised in an orphanage found a high mortality rate due to an absence of human warmth. When they began receiving physical and emotional attention, the mortality rate declined. When we sing Shema and Hamalach Ha’goel to a baby, it infuses in his or her heart a love of Hashem as expressed in these tefillos. The feeling of being loved, the feeling of hearing the magical words “I love you” is irreplaceable to a child.

The developing brain is a field of opportunity, and the early childhood experiences help set the stage for the choices a child will make later on. For better or worse, children mimic their parents’ behavior. Children of Hatzalah members run around with walkie talkies, and homes where davening and learning is valued are filled with preschoolers pretending to daven or learn. The best way to teach a child to daven well is by example. How foolish are those parents who force their children to come to shul and sit for hours with a siddur, but talk during davening or hang out in the kiddush club.

Years ago we went on a 28-hour trip to Niagara Falls. Our entire schedule was planned around minyanim that would fit into our location and schedule. We wanted to take our children on a vacation, but we did not want to leave Yiddishkeit behind. We left at 4:00 a.m. so we would be in Scranton on time to daven Schachris and learn in the Bais Midrash. We then proceeded to Corning and arrived in Rochester for Mincha and Buffalo for Maariv. The next morning, we davened Shacharis in Buffalo, experienced the Falls, and left in time to make it to Binghamton for Mincha and Maariv. On this lengthy drive, my wife commented that while the children would remember the magnificence of the falls, the experience of revolving a vacation around tefilla b’tzibur would leave a lifetime imprint.

Freiman-021513-ArcheryIt is important to teach your children to do mitzvos out of love, not because they feel burdened. If the children hear that they have to daven, it becomes a chore, which no one appreciates. Speaking to Hashem is a zechus, a true honor, and it should be something we want to do. Children have the capacity and maturity to daven well at different ages, and tefillah should be taught to children when they are ready, each child according to his own emotional and intellectual growth. Growing in mitzvos should be positive and exciting – for all ages. We are taught that the Pesach Seder should be enjoyable for children – how much more so all one’s chinuch experiences.

Children should go to shul, it is important for their growth and development; however, halachically speaking, it is wrong to bring a child to shul for long periods of time when he does not have the maturity to maintain the proper decorum and will therefore disturb others. When a child is brought to shul and constantly told be quiet, he will not enjoy going there again. There is also the possibility that if he makes noise and is not shushed, he will learn that shul is a place where one can make noise and talk. One should teach a child the importance of berachos and davening at a young age, but it must be at the right time and in a positive and inspirational way.

At my wedding, a Rav approached me and told me that I should walk toward the chuppah right foot first to set the stage for a strong and spiritual beginning to my new life. One may be married for decades, but there is only one shana rishona, first year. The Torah tells us that a chassan is supposed to dedicate this year towards establishing a special relationship with his wife and is therefore exempt from serving on the battlefield. For this reason many young men will have “night seder” at home during their shana rishona to show their wives that the home is a major part of their Torah lives, and that they are partners in this spiritual growth.

About the Author: Rabbi Gil Frieman is the pulpit Rabbi of Jewish Center Nachlat Zion, the home of Ohr Naava. He is certified as a shochet, sofer, and has given lectures in the United States, Canada, and throughout Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Frieman is currently the American Director of seminaries Darchei Binah, Afikei Torah, and Chochmas Lev in Eretz Yisroel, and teaches in Nefesh High School, Camp Tubby during the summers, and lectures weekly at Ohr Naava. In addition, Rabbi Frieman teaches all tracks in Ateres Naava Seminary. He is a highly anticipated speaker on TorahAnytime.com where he speaks live most Wednesday nights at 9:00pm EST.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Losing Our Children (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
President Obama overlaid against photo of Jonathan Pollard.
The Hidden Reason the United States Won’t Release Pollard.
Latest Judaism Stories
Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

More Articles from Rabbi Gil Frieman
Freiman-092013

While we wish the nations of the world success and prosperity, we realize that this feeling has not always been reciprocated.

Torah-Anytime-logo

I watch my children use blocks to build a large structure, observing the trepidation with which they add each block. As the structure becomes larger there is a greater risk of it collapsing, thus bringing an end to an hour of playful labor. I anticipate what will happen when one child adds a block to the top floor, compromising the integrity of the building and resulting in the collapse of the entire structure. The argument that ensues is predictable, as each child blames the other for “ruining” the fun. As an adult, I wonder about the need to attribute blame. Will assigning blame be instrumental in rebuilding the structure?

Kids today… that’s not the way we behaved when we were younger!! That is the mantra I hear repeated as parents bemoan the spoiled nature and lack of responsibility of today’s children. The problem is – it is not a fair comparison.

My family and I had recently enjoyed an outing to the bowling alley, courtesy of our friend, the owner. Children of all ages enjoy this weatherproof sport, and even preschoolers can easily score strike after strike as bumpers support the heavy ball as it creeps its way towards the pins at the end of the lane.

We all yearn to feel that we are part of something special. We all seek respect and acceptance for simply being who we are.

A congregant once told me that he was spending a large amount of time trying to explain Judaism to a coworker. His colleague thought that all Jewish holidays had the same theme, and he proudly summarized this theme at his family’s two-minute Seder: “They tried to kill us, Hashem saved us, we won, now let’s eat!!” He proudly bragged that this sentence was the family’s personal, abbreviated Haggadah.

Many trees upstate were damaged by the hurricane that swept through the East Coast at the end of last summer, and I was involved in finding the safest equipment to clean up the mess. I love trees and found the chore of cutting them down very difficult, especially knowing that the stately 60 year old trees would be impossible to replace. Even though we planted new trees, I don’t know whether I will be there to enjoy these new saplings when they are 60 years old.

I rarely take the extended warranty when purchasing new electronics. I figure that this warranty must not be worth much if they feel the need to pressure me into buying it. They must know what I have learned the hard way: there is no such thing as a real guarantee. In my more naive days, I purchased this “peace of mind,” as they call it, but never cashed in. Usually, by the time the item broke, I had forgotten about the extended warranty and purchased a replacement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/losing-our-children-part-ii/2013/02/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: