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Child's View

Child's View

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"I believe the children are our future,

"Teach them well and let them lead the way.

"Give them a sense of pride,

"To make it easier........"

I once read a news story about a semi-rig that got stuck under a low-clearance viaduct. Emergency workers were called in to strategize. Some suggested dismantling the truck's trailer; others, to use a crane with a special jack to raise the viaduct, or to hew out grooves in the pavement under the trucks wheels.

Nobody paid much attention to an earnest young boy who had a different suggestion. After all, this was a man's job, a job for experts. But the boy persisted, and what he suggested made so much sense that even the experts had to take notice.

He told the men to simply let the air out of the trucks tires.

Doubtless, most, if not all, of the plans offered that afternoon would have eventually gotten the truck out of the predicament. But unlike the adults who were trained, and therefore limited, by conventional reasoning, the boy was able to think out of the box and solve the conundrum with the most useful truth for that particular situation.

The experts should not be laughed at for failing to see what the boy saw. They should be commended for ultimately recognizing the usefulness of his truth, even though the source was neither expert, nor, for that matter, fully grown.

A great kabbalist expressed his wish that he could "pray like a child." A child connects directly to G‑d's essence. His perception of G‑d is true and pure, intrinsic and innate. His essential bond with G‑d transcends the levels of conscious awareness and he identifies with the G‑dly essence of his being. A highly intellectual Torah scholar's bond with G‑d is forged through his intellectual comprehension of G‑d's manifestations and attributes. He must struggle to relate to the point of it all—the essence of G‑d. Therefore a child possesses a certain advantage in his relationship with G‑d.

Recently, my cousin laughingly relayed her children's sense of joy, awe and excitement in their pre-occupation with Moshiach during their trip to Israel for Pesach. Smiling she said that they worked Moshiach into every conversation. A child's belief in and connection with G‑d is simple and pristine. Free from the Galut (exile) mentality that enslaved and restricted the adults, to them Moshiach was not a hope or a desire, but a fact. Their belief in and connection with G‑d, simple and pristine. At the kotel they excitedly exclaimed "if Moshiach comes this very minute we are going to be right in the front ready to greet him." When passing the Mount of Olives they commented on the good fortune of the people who are buried there since "they will have the first view of the Holy Temple as soon as Moshiach gets here."

They not only lived with the certainty of Moshiach during their waking hours but their Moshiach reality penetrated even during sleep. Their vivid dreams about Moshiach included images in which they envisioned themselves enveloped in soft fluffy clouds arriving at a gate that enclosed a huge mountain of mud then Moshiach arrived and the quagmire was transformed into paradise. Even when they had settled themselves on the plane anticipating their long journey home they discussed animatedly how "the plane would turn in midair and return to Jerusalem" if Moshiach arrived while they were traveling.

An unadulterated pure child-like relationship with G‑d can be shared by every Jew for the G‑dly essence of his being is the inherent fundamental birthright of each one of us. All that is necessary is to follow the example of the children and get beyond the "I" that stands in the way of acknowledging G‑d, and identifying with our true G‑dly reality.

In the words of the Holy Baal Shem Tov, "The wholesome simplicity of a simple Jew touches upon the utterly simple essence of G‑d."

Batya Schochet Lisker is the founding principal of Bais Chana Chabad Girls' High School of Los Angeles, current executive assistant to Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky of Chabad World Headquarters in New York, and program administrator of the Machne Israel Development Fund Early Childhood Initiative.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Rochel Gutnick Los Angeles, CA September 17, 2008

Wow, this article perfectly spreads the message that children are an inspiration; each holds promise for our future. They supply us with endless enthusiasm, warmth and hope to keep us going. It is very important for adults to not undermine a child's capability. I strongly believe that working with children and getting to know them is the most rewarding opportunity. By the way Mrs. Lisker you truly are a talented writer, I really enjoyed reading all of your inspiring and heart-felt articles. Reply

Chanie Florida August 20, 2008

So glad I saw this just in the nick of time. I will print this out and distribute it to my teachers at our pre-school orientation next week. It brings out the point that I want to emphasize and is of value to anyone working with children. Maybe I will send it home to the parents as well. Thank you for an amazing article. Reply

Naomi Houston, Texas August 10, 2008

Mentorless I do not have anyone that impacted my life, as I was growing up, in a positive way and yet I am determined to nurture my own child properly. I love the idea of this article and attempt to bring this idea from theory into practice. As other readers wrote it is not easy but worthwhile things usually aren't easy although worthwhile in the longrun. Thank you for this. Reply

Shanee Michaelson Reno August 8, 2008

Do No Damage The point is that educators and parents should not stifle the nature of children. Raise them without damaging them, without forcing them to conform. Love them, support them, encourge them, let them develop. They are not all exactly the same and should not be expected to fit a mold. Don't push them to think a certain way. Let them dream and create. This is a fantastic article. Reply

L. Wesiman Vancouver, British Columbia August 8, 2008

Read It Again The "I" does stand in the way of acknowledging G-d and is very difficult to get past. Ever notice that "I", unlike other pronouns, is capitalized in the English language. It is capitalized in the same way that G-d is capitalized! The same is not true in many other languages. I would deduce that it is especially difficult for us English speakers to get past the overly important G-dlike "I." This a very special article which I read quite a few times before I was able to realize all of its messages. Reply

Chaya Palm Desert, CA August 7, 2008

You Got to Me Beautiful message. Not so easy to do however. I love the anecdote used. I am unfamiliar with the supposedly famous song but the lesson certainly resonates with me. I am a longtime teacher and a mother of many children of various ages. I learn from them every day. Reply

Laia Rhode Island August 7, 2008

Thank you for sharing and writing an article that gives reason to stop and think how we interact with children. Reply

Linda Hepner Orlando, Florida August 7, 2008

In deep appreciation A Whitney Houston song (my all time favorite), deep mystical concepts, a newspaper article and a personal story come together with a very profound lesson. That is the uniqueness of Chabad. Thank you chabad.org. It amazes me how much I learn on this site. Author, you left out one more line of the song that is appropriate here......"show them all the beauty they possess inside...." The children need to be made aware of their unique connection to G-d. Great article. Reply

Chana Rachel seattle , washington August 6, 2008

Our Future Sometimes in all the details of taking care of our children we forget the point of it all. I appreciate the important principle stressed in this article and I will try to remember it when I am stressing over trivial things. Reply

harold toronto, cananda August 4, 2008

a most excellent and poignant article. Reply

dr. rivkah caifornia August 4, 2008

Teaching Every Child In this increasingly fast-paced world of ours, you bring home the importance of slowing down to "smell the roses" - and treasuring our precious children. The greatest challenge and the greatest rewards come from teaching according to each child's individual learning style.
There are few who do this- they inspire through encouragement and appreciation of all students equally. The Previous Rebbe describes this in "The Principles of Guidance & Education - worth reading or reviewing for those involved and committed to the educational process, whether professionally in the classroom, or as a parent, and what this precious job entails. Thank you for the reminder. Reply

Estee A. N.H., california August 3, 2008

Once again , a great story . You always put out an inspiring lesson for all. Reply

Rochel Leah Thornhill, Ontario, Canada August 3, 2008

Very inspiring. You really hit the nail on the head-"simple" faith is not so simple for us old complicated folks. We always need to be reminded how to reconnect with pure, simple faith to our essence. As always a great article. Reply

Uncle Sy August 3, 2008

When you get younger you'll understand. This is so true, and it's also probably one of the hardest things to accomplish, I would think.
Interesting how, the longer you live, the more you learn, the more you understand, the more difficult it is to remove your SELF from the picture, the more difficult your goal becomes.
Hmmm.
What an interesting conundrum.
The more you accomplish, the more you have to accomplish.
How about that? Reply