The Midrash relates that before G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He asked for guarantors. The nation offered several options - the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and the other prophets, but G‑d rejected them all. The people then volunteered: “Our children will be our guarantors.”

G‑d agreed and gave the Torah.

On one hand, the concept is obvious. If you want an idea or a practice to be perpetuated, you must involve youth. Perhaps the point of the Midrash then is the nature of the involvement asked of our children. A lot of times people say, “I will show my children an approach. I’m sure that they’ll appreciate that it’s good. But I won’t force them. I’ll let them make up their own minds.”

Judaism takes a much different tact. Before the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai, they told G‑d: “We will do and we will listen,” making a commitment to observe the Torah, before they knew what G‑d was commanding them.

This practice is mirrored in the way we train our children to approach the Torah. The first thing is actual deed. They observe the mitzvos without understanding their rationale. Instead, they grow up practicing them as an integral part of their existence. They do not see Judaism as merely a set of beliefs whose value they comprehend, but a fully integrated way of life that encompasses every dimension of their existence.

“Brainwashing,” someone might protest. “Denying the children free choice.”

But it is not. Our children will always have a choice. They grow up in a world where material things are openly evident to all of us, and the existence of spiritual truth is only in books. Is there any question that they will hear the other side?

And raising them without a thorough involvement in Judaism as a way of life is also a message. It teaches them that Judaism is secondary, perhaps a nice pastime, but not one of the fundamental elements of life. What kind of choice does that leave the child?

Shavuos is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah, an appropriate time for each of us to renew and deepen our connection with it. The Lubavitcher Rebbe instituted the custom of recreating the Sinai experience by having all Jews - men, woman, children, even infants - gather in the synagogue to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments on the first day of Shavuos.

Following that custom brings home the above concepts. For whether or not they understand the reading, everyone attending will appreciate that it is special. A child will know that even if he did not comprehend the reading, he did establish a bond with the Torah.

And the truth is that the adults should take precisely that message home. For the truth of the Torah is G‑dly, beyond human conception. No matter how much we do understand, there is always infinitely more which is beyond our understanding.