Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90
Hide your Children

This Toldos Aharon Chassid is carrying his 3-year-old son in the streets of Meah Shearim, Jerusalem. The boy is about to start attending Cheder, and so he is brought to the Rebbe for a blessing. But to keep the little one from being exposed to forbidden sights, he is wrapped, head to toe, in a tallit.

A commendable strategy, if you can keep it up. But it makes the eventual, inevitable exposure that much more enticing, like all forbidden things.

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Do you remember the expression on your baby’s face the first time he or she tasted ice cream? A smile spreads across their face, the sign of a delightful discovery. Oh my God, they seem to say, these things exist? Hey, life is worth living!

I shudder at the thought of how one might react if they’re first exposed to ice cream at, say, age 18…

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I never saw this before…not halacha but makes sense. Lets not be quick to judge;.
    A 3 year old is awakening to the world around him… a heightened sensitivity. At this time (for some) there is a custom known as an 'upsher'… a ceremony to cut the hair leaving the corners ( the payot) , and recite his aleph beit with the Rabbi that will be his education mentor. Honey is placed on the letters of the aleph-beit as the child repeats them as a way of 'sweetening' the experience. It is a very special spiritual seed that is planted in this new relationship for the child, his Rabbi and a Torah education. It seems to me like a great idea , and a 'fun adventure'.
    to help prepare the child to receive the sweetness of Torah without the distractions of the world. After all, we have all closed our eyes at some point, perhaps during prayer and meditation to help us block out distraction.
    Judge to the good.

  2. Let me ask you who is more likely to commit immorality with a loose girl; a boy who was secluded in Yeshiva, no internet, no sexual corruption of his brain by the internet or a boy who has been enticed by ther images on his Iphone for the last 8 years? Obviously the non secluded boy! The facts on the ground prove it; the rate of sexual immorality is almost zero among the secluded religious while way higher among the modern orthodox boys exposed to the internet. so your idea of enticement as a result of seclusion is a bankrupt one.

    In addition the minhag above is done on one day only after the first haircut as is symbolic. We should not insult our holy minhagim with ridiculous comments that are not even true.

  3. I love how you completely ignore the fact that 1) the boy isn't actually starting Cheder and just going for his first haircut 2) all Jews who don't cut a childs hair until his 3rd birthday and bring him to Cheder to get it cut do this 3) How many other kids did you see in the streets of MeaShearim covered the day after the first haircut in Chader traditon let alone up to their 18th birthday?
    Get your facts straight and think just a tiny drop before posting something that insults the intelligence of your readers.

  4. The author has made a mistake here. This is merely a folk custom -covering the child as he is taken either his upsherin, or to beginning cheder (or both). It is an exciting moment and a statement to the child that he is becoming a 'big boy'. It is not meant to be any sort of a permanent thing. It is merely a cute custom, one which I did with my boys and will do next year with my smallest.

  5. Is that "all" this is about? I'm no chasid and not as frum as many, but this sounds like a way to get your sons excited, to add some mystery to the event. There are far bigger traditions or beliefs one can take issue with – but this? It hardly sounds evil!

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