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Hashkafa Shiur Summary
Emunah B’Lev

Part 3

by Rav Simcha Klein

Children who observe their parent’s emunah in action will absorb and internalize that emunah by osmosis. The following1 are methods and opportunities for parents to allow their children to witness their emunah b’lev, thereby transmitting their personal conviction and passion about Hashem.

  • Parents should let their children overhear2 them talking about Hashem and detailing how He is so kind to their family.
  • Hashgacha pratis should be highlighted at every opportunity3. The concept should become an often used household term4.
  • Parents should articulate their berachos5 over food in front of their children in a slow focused manner as if they are addressing another person6.
  • Make the existence of Hashem relevant and personal by vividly detailing how much Hashem loves and cares about them7.
  • When children experience the simple pleasures of life, such as ample food, a warm home in the winter, and a cool home in the summer, parents should always link such pleasures to the benevolence of Hashem8.
  • Constantly reiterate how thankful9 they should be to Hashem for possessing healthy functioning bodies.
  • Describe how Hashem likes to hear the tefilos of all Yidden, even from small children.
  • At nighttime, when children express their natural fears and anxieties regarding darkness and bad dreams, parents should include in their words of calm and comfort the security of the reality that Hashem watches over them even at night10.
  • When a child is extremely afraid in the middle of the night, parents can suggest they repeat the bedtime Krias Shema and explain to them that talking to Hashem in this way can be a shmirah from potential dangers11.
  • Regale them with stories12 from our glorious past, when even small children would absolutely refuse to bow down to idols and images13 and would willingly give up their lives for Hashem.
  • After reciting Krias Shema al hamitah with your child, have him say the following: “Hashem loves me, and I love Him, and He always watches over me”14.

1. It is self understood that the suggestions contained herein will only be effective if the parents themselves truly believe in what they are saying and doing. In the event that the parent’s conversations on this topic are insincere, it is wiser for them not to discuss Emunah at all, since hallow words on such an important topic can be more damaging to the children’s long term Emunah then refraining from discussing it at all.
2. This can be far more effective then overtly telling it to them.
3. Parents that have experienced incidents themselves of hashgacha pratis should make a point of sharing them with their children.
4. Using hashgacha pratis as a way of sowing the seeds of emunah in the hearts and minds of children was highly recommend by the Chazon Ish Z”L (Maaseh Ish).
5. If it is not possible to recite all the berachos in that manner, one should at least try to do so with one or two berachos per day.
6. When children see this conduct they will inevitably start pondering “who is my parent talking to”, and that will cause them to internalize that Hashem is a reality and a Being one can openly address. This dynamic was strongly advocated by Rav Volbe Z”L (Zireya U’Binyan BaChinuch p. 37).
7. This method is mentioned by Rav Akiva Aiger (Al Hatorah, Veschanan, on the pasuk Vahavta).
8. Parents should train their children to associate all goodness with Hashem. Besides concretizing the existence of Hashem in their eyes, it will also reinforce their perception of Hashem as a rachum v’chanun who is always concerned for their wellbeing. (I have personally heard Rav Shmuel Berenbaum Z”L lament the fact that so many people today don’t truly perceive Hashem as an Av HaRachamon).
9. Habituating children not to take for granted any aspect of healthy living is a strong investment in their future sense of contentment and happiness.
10. As it says .(תהילים קכא,ד) הִנֵּה לֹא יָנוּם וְלֹא יִישָׁן שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל –
11. See Berachos (5a). This was also recommended by the Chazon Ish Z”L (Maaseh Ish vol.6 p.96).
12. The medium of storytelling is an extremely powerful tool to reach our children’s hearts and souls.
13. For example Chana and her seven sons. See an amazing version of the story in Medrash Rabbah (Eicha 1:50).
14. Advice of Rav Avigdor Miller Z”L. Experience has shown that reciting this as a nightly ritual can have a powerful effect on a child.