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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parshas Voeschanan

You Will Be Heard

"Yanky, wake up! You don't want to be late. Today is your big appointment." "Thanks, Imma. You're right. Today I am going to see the Gadol HaDor!" "Yanky, Abba worked very hard to get an appointment to see him. Now you have your chance to meet him." "Imma, I can't wait." Later that day, Yanky returns home with his Abba, after their meeting with the Gadol HaDor. "Yanky how was it? What was he like? What did he say to you?" "It was amazing. The Rav is such a big, important man. He has so many people waiting to see him about so many different things." "Oh, I see. I guess he did not have too much time for you." "On the contrary. That was the amazing part. He took the time to listen to me very carefully. He sat very patiently, gave me his full attention and just listened. That is the greatness of the Gadol HaDor. He takes the time to listen." The Medrash Rabba (Devarim 2:1) writes, "Abba Shaul says, 'If a person concentrates fully on his tefillah (prayer), it will surely be heard.'"

Children . . .

We all want people to listen to us. We have something to say, and we want others to listen. We want our friends, neighbors, and parents to listen to us. Could you imagine if the Rav of the shul made an appointment with you to hear what you have to say? Wow! What about the Rav of the city? What about the Gadol HaDor? Guess what kinderlach? Someone much more important is waiting to listen to you. He will hear every word that you have to say. Who is He? Hashem. When you concentrate on your tefillah with all of your heart, He listens to every word.

Let's Make A Deal

"Shema Yisrael." We say it every morning and evening. The "Daas Zekanim MiBaalei HaTosfos" point out that when one says the three words "Kel Melech Ne'eman" (Hashem is the faithful King) before the Kriyas Shema, it brings the total number of words in Kriyas Shema to 248. That is exactly the same as the number of limbs in the body. One who says the 248 words of Kriyas Shema properly will merit having Hashem Himself will guard over his 248 limbs. Hashem says, "You guard My possession (the mitzvos), and I will guard your possession (your 248 limbs). The Baalei Tosfos continue with a parable about a King who had a vineyard in Judea, and a home in the Galil. One of his subjects had a home in Judea and a vineyard in the Galil. Each year both the King and the subject made the trip from Judea to the Galil and back to tend their vineyards. Once, they met each other on the road and discovered that each had a vineyard near the home of the other. "Why are we doing all of this traveling?" they said. "I will care for your vineyard and you care for mine." So it is with Hashem and the Jewish people. When we care for His mitzvos, He cares for us.

Children . . .

We all know that the Kriyas Shema is a very important tefillah (prayer). Now we have learned another aspect of its importance. When we say it properly, Hashem Himself will guard over our 248 limbs. This is yet another facet of the amazing things that can be accomplished with proper tefillah.

Constant Mitzvos

"What are you doing Aryeh?"
"I'm doing three mitzvos."
"Really! Three mitzvos! It looks like you are not doing anything."
"These mitzvos do not require action, only thought." "Which mitzvos are you doing?" "They are all in this week's parsha. Knowing that Hashem exists, knowing that He is one, and loving Him." "How do you do those mitzvos?" Well, Avraham Avinu looked at the world and saw beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans. He wondered, "How can this wonderful world keep going by itself? There must be someone controlling it." By process of trial and error, he concluded that Hashem created and is running the world, and that He is only One. We can look at the same extraordinary world and appreciate that Hashem created it and He alone is running it. We also have the Torah. The Sefer HaChinuch explains that the first paragraph of Kriyas Shema tells us how to love Hashem. "And you shall love the Hashem your G-d with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your might." How? "Place these words which I command you today upon your heart" (Devarim 6:5-6). By learning the Torah, and thinking about what you learned, you will come to know The One who spoke and created the world. Knowing and appreciating Hashem's Torah will lead you to knowing and appreciating Hashem.

Children . . .

You can do these mitzvos while you are playing, resting, walking to school, or eating. Just take the time to think about Hashem's wonderful world. Review some of the Torah that you learned today. Just imagine. You can do mitzvos every minute of the day. Isn't that great?

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