Photo Credit: Jewish Press

As adults we do not realize how much influence we have on our children, and for that matter on any child, even a child we meet on the street, in shul or in a school. Children are like sponges and they soak everything in – our moods, our good habits, and our bad ones as well.

A good word from us or a bad one can make a huge difference in a child’s life. A teacher, too, can say something unintentionally and damage that kid for life, yet she can give encouragement to a student and it can change the course of his life for the better.


At times, children can be so challenging physically that we forget about trying to uplift them emotionally. We may also forget their strong emotions and sensitivity, and then say all the wrong things which can affect them for life.

A child is very dependent on his surroundings. He can’t manage without our help. Therefore, we must be so careful not to belittle or disregard his desires and his beliefs. We need to be sensitive to the things he says, even if it seems to make no sense. All that effort on our part will build character and security in our children and will help them become better adults, thus making this world a better place to live in.

Every day, all over the universe, children are born. A child usually brings joy and happiness to her family and to all her surroundings. Why is a child such a source of happiness? What is it that makes a person stop and look at a cute little baby and even take the time to smile and say hello? If an attractive adult walked by, we might want to stop, smile, and say hello, but would think twice of the outcome, and walk on.

What is so special about children? Adults are smarter and capable of doing many more things than children can. Children are needy. Children must be watched almost all the time so that they don’t get injured. Children cry a lot, make noise and usually a mess wherever they go. And still children are the symbol of life, of continuity, of happiness and beauty. What indeed is their secret?

Children have purity – a sense of being happy with what they have. The smaller the child, the less she needs. A small infant only wants some milk and to be held. Love and attention. As they grow, a small candy is an amazing treat. It doesn’t take more than a walk in the park or a game with a ball, a ride down the slide or the smell of a sweet flower, a funny face to make them laugh, and a big hug and a kiss to sleep better at night.

What happens between that sweet and accepting stage and adulthood? When we grow older, almost nothing pleases us unless it’s high-packed adventure. A hug and kiss are examined many times over before we give them to a moody teenager. The sweet innocence of childhood slowly disappears as we grow older. As I have written before, technology has a lot to offer but also a lot that leaves room for improvement. All these elements have an effect on how a child will grow up.

Why then are we compared to children of Hashem – youngsters who will change and become such complex people, some better, some worse? Why not be compared to a saint, a true tzaddik? Why not seek out the good and righteous people in society, such as nurses or doctors, teachers or rabbis, and then compare the nation to these good and special people. G-d might say, “My people, you are all to me like doctors who help heal others and like teachers who share their wisdom with others.”

Rather, we are compared to children, individuals who are not fully developed and are dependent on everyone around them. This is the great glory of the people of Israel – that we are the children of Hashem. Not fully developed physically and mentally. Why did G-d choose this comparison as the greatest compliment to mankind?

To answer this, I will share a little scene I saw this past Shabbat. I was sitting in shul; the congregation consisted mainly of elderly people, with some middle-aged couples as well. As the Torah was being placed back in the ark, suddenly three small children walked in with their grandmother. They ran to the front of the shul where the Torah was being returned and they asked their grandfather to pick them up so that they could kiss the Torah scroll.

As I saw this, tears filled my eyes. I could see the innocence on their faces, the joy that they felt kissing that holy Torah, the simplicity they had and the effect it made on their souls.

It was a small act which to them was a source of great joy: They got to kiss the Torah. To Hashem it’s huge. That simple kiss is the continuation of the Jewish nation. That kiss connects each generation of Jews to the next. Sometimes we are so concerned that our children learn all sorts of smart and new ideas, when in fact what will keep the world going is the joy of that child as he kisses the Torah. It’s the Torah and the Jewish people that keep the entire world going.

G-d compares us to children since he is looking for the simplicity in us, for the dependence He wants us to have on Him. Hashem is looking for the joy we find in doing a simple mitzvah.

It says in the Torah that it’s going to be the little kinderlach who will make the Messiah come. Why the children? Because they believe. They’re not full of logic and reasoning. G-d said to believe and He’s our father, so we believe and trust Him. We are not full of worry. We are not trying to change or argue with our father. We are happy with whatever He tells us, as long as He showers us with love and takes care of all our needs.

It’s also written that Hashem and a person who is filled with pride can’t reside in the same place. Small children aren’t filled with pride; therefore, they have lots of room to be filled with goodness and love. Young children are always looking up to their parents and yearning for their approval. If we constantly remember that we are the children of Hashem, no matter what age we reach, we will always be connected to that pure and innocent place next to G-d.

May we make Hashem proud of us, His children. In return, He will want to shower us with only good things, just as we want to give our children only good and love.

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleCourt Reverses Ruling on Segregated Concert, Leaves Final Call to Afula Municipality
Next articleHermann Hesse, The Nazis, And Anti-Semitism
Michal can be reached at [email protected]