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October 02, 1992 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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40

Teach The Children
How To Pray

Special to The Jewish News

0

ne of the many corn-
mandments discussed
in this week's portion
is the commandment of
hakhel. As the verse states,
"Gather (hakhel) together the
nation, the men, women, and
children, in order that they
should learn and listen, and
fear the Lord your God, and
guard to do all the words of
this Torah. Children that can-
not understand will learn to
fear the Lord your God. (Deut.
31:12-13)
The Chinuch, codifier of the
commandments, describes
the events of the hakhel
celebration. "Being that the
Torah is the very mainstay of
the Jewish people's existence
and identity, it was necessary
to gather every man, woman,
and child, (once every seven
years during the festival of
Sukkot) to hear the Jewish
king read the Torah in the
temple in Jerusalem. This ex-
hibition re-enacted the very
mood of the giving of the
Torah on Sinai, re-instilling
the tremendous reverence a
Jew has for the Torah."
The Talmud discusses the
verses that describe how Rab-
bi Yochonon ben Beruka and
Elazar Hisma went to the
town of Pikiyun on yom tov to
visit their rebbe, Rabbi
Yehoshua. Rabbi Yehoshua
asked them, "What lesson did
you learn in the academy to-
day?" They replied, "Rabbi,
we only know that which you
have taught us." He respond-
ed, "Nevertheless, there is
never a day in the academy
when some great nuance is
not developed." They later ex-
plain the meaning behind the
verses from this week's por-
tion as to why men and
women needed to participate
in the hakhel service. But for
what purpose did small
children need to be shlepped
all the way to Jerusalem? The
Gemarah explains "in order
to give reward to the parent
who brought them."
Rabbi Yehoshua, upon hear-
ing this explanation exclaim-
ed, "You have a wondrous
pearl of wisdom in your hands
and you were willing not to
tell me."
The Marasha, the commen-
tator of the Talmud, explains
that there are different types
of children. There are
children of school age that

Shia MOrOZOW is rabbi of
Bais Chabad of North Oak
Park/F.R.E.E.

can appreciate that the
hakhel is in order to instill —
fear of heaven. There are,
however, younger children,
from one month and upward,
whose sole purpose in coming
is to reward those who bring
them.
The lesson to be learned `-=‘
from this discussion is that
there is heavenly reward to <
parents who bring their
children to synagogue early
in life. It is important though
for the
the parents to prevent
their little ones from distur- '=-
bing the concentration of
fellow congregants. The pure
prayers of young children add
sanctity to the services as the
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi
Menachem M. Schneerson ex- (i
"Children are free of
the worries of making a living
and maintaining a household
and can devote themselves
entirely to Torah. The Torah
which God commanded to 2
Moses is an inheritance to the

Shabbat Vayelech:
Deuteronomy
31:1-30
Hosea 14:2-10
Micah 7:18-20
Joel 2:15-27

congregation of Jacob. The
Torah belongs to each Jew as
his inheritance. Hence, so-
meone who is free of other
obligations can devote all of
his efforts to the Torah and its
Mitzvos." (Sichos Vol. 7 p. 94).
The Gemarah bestows the
magnificence of bringing even
small children to services, as
Rabbi Yehoshua calls it "a
pearl of wisdom." Even these
small children should be
taught how to properly par-
ticipate in the services and
learn to enjoy the synagogue
for its purpose is to create a
close relationship to the
Creator.
Through the merits of those
parents who train their small
children to participate in
synagogue services and other
facets of Jewish life, we will
prepare ourselves for the
ultimate redemption from our
prolonged exile and will, this
Sukkot, again be in the tern-
ple in Jerusalem with our
King Moshiach, together
with every man and child.



In 1909 Degania, the first
kibbutz, was established on
the southern shore of the Sea
of Galilee; and Tel Aviv, the
first modern Jewish city,
was founded north of Jaffa.

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