Growing a family is no easy feat, and for the Jewish women in Egypt, it was especially difficult. For one, they had to persuade their husbands to be on board. The menGrowing a family is no easy feat were putting in very long days of arduous labor, and when they finally made it back home, they were beat. The Talmud describes the unusual tactics that the women used to seduce their husbands:

They then set two pots on the fire, one for hot water and the other for the fish, which they carried to their husbands in the field, and washed, anointed, fed, gave them to drink and had intercourse with them among the low lands in the fields, as it is said: “When you lie among the low lands in the fields.”12

Even after they were successful in conceiving a child, there were other obstacles ahead of them. Pharaoh had ordered that all Jewish male infants be killed. Egyptian officers would keep an eye out for women who were pregnant. When they learned that she delivered the baby, they checked the gender, and if male, they forcefully snatched away the newborn. So, many women stayed under the radar once they conceived. The Talmud describes it as follows:

After the women had conceived, they returned to their homes, and when the time of childbirth arrived, they went and were delivered in the field beneath the apple tree, as it is said: “Under the apple tree I caused thee to come forth [from thy mother's womb], etc.” G‑d sent down someone from the high heavens, who washed and straightened the limbs [of the babes] in the same manner that a midwife straightens the limbs of a child . . . He also provided for them two cakes, one of oil and one of honey, as it is said: “And He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil, etc.”3

These kids didn’t grow up with regular family dinners and Sunday bike rides. These babies were on Pharaoh's wanted list. They were raised in the fields, supervised by mothers and relatives who visited daily. It was these children who grew to be the next generation of Jews, the ones who escaped Egypt, crossed the Reed Sea, and stood by Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah. These kids were accustomed to miracles, beginning with the heavenly midwife who washed them up and the two cakes G‑d sent that sustained them. They couldn’t help but see how much G‑d showed up in their lives, how tender His loving care could be.

Kids have a natural affinity towards seeing G‑d’s hand in nature. Recently, my children and I walked out to Collins Avenue, just as a line of cars with menorahs attached to their roofs paraded by, protected by patrol cars on either end. “What divine providence!” said my daughter earnestly. “If we would have left a bit earlier or a bit later, we would have missed seeing this.” She is sensitive to G‑d’s loving care. She notices the divine hand beneath the glove of coincidence.

Even before my kids could speak, I’d speak to them about G‑d. “Hashem (G‑d) gave Mommy a gift when you were born.” “Hashem is so proud of you for being nice to your friend.” “Look at that, Hashem opened up a parking spot for us so close to the entrance.” Some people accuse me of brainwashing them with religious rhetoric, but I look at it differently. I’m showing them the energy that’s beneath the veneer of nature. I want them to learn about it early on because it will impact their attitudes and make them resilient. I want them to start noticing that G‑d is stitching together the tapestry of their life.

When the sea split and the Jews walked through, the Torah describes the song the people sang to express their gratitude, “Az Yashir.” One verse of the song reads, “This is my G‑d and I will praise Him.” The words “my G‑d” imply that G‑d had been previously seen, and now they were recognizing Him again.4 The Talmud says that this sentiment of recognition was proclaimed by the kids! “That’s my G‑d!” they said. “I recognize Him. He’s done miracles in the past and He’s doing them again.” While the adults may have stood there on the bank, paralyzed with shock as the sea cleared a pathway for them to cross through, the kids took it in stride and called out, “This is my G‑d! He’s helping us again.”

The Rebbe infers from the Talmud that the children caused the sea to split. G‑d wanted to reward the children for recognizing Him, so he opened up a passageway right there in the middle of the sea. Everyone passed through, but it was the kids who inspired the miracle.

That sea was in the wrong place for the Jews on the run.It was the kids who inspired the miracle With Pharaoh on their tail, the Jews needed to keep on moving, not halt in despair. And then, ironically, that body of water that was so problematic became a wall of water, suspended vertically until the Jews passed through safely. The obstacle that threatened to bring inevitable doom became the doorway for their success. And it was inspired by the children.

When children can see G‑d in their lives, they become more resilient. When life sends them obstacles, resilient kids are less likely to buckle under the pressure. “Hey—if G‑d showed up in my life elsewhere, He’s probably here too, in this challenge. And if He’s the one presenting this challenge, then there has to be a growth opportunity here, too.”

The more that kids can see G‑d in their lives, the more they will feel more comfortable being Jewish, even when their Jewishness is not particularly appreciated. They will care more about what G‑d thinks about them than about what others think of them. With enough faith and perseverance, any obstacles in their path will become protective walls that invite them to move forward.

(Based on Likutei Sichot, vol. 2, pg 523.)