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My Son's Heresy
My youngest child, three years old, is having a rough summer. Sure, he's had fun experiences, like seeing the dinosaurs at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, and the amazing Noah's Ark at the Skirball Museum. He also decided to change his name to Batman. But we took away his pacifier, which makes it very difficult for him to fall asleep at night.
The other night, Batman was sorely missing his pacifier, and his grouchiness led him on a tirade against everything that's wrong with the world. In particular, he brought up an incident from a few days previously that had greatly bothered him. He had elected to eat a salami sandwich before finishing his chocolate milk, and he was extremely upset when we told him that he would have to wait in order to finish his chocolate milk.
We thought that Batman had gotten over this, but he hadn't. As his pacifier-deprived state led him to recount one grievance after another, he brought up the salamai-choco incident.
"It's not fair that Hashem doesn't let me have choco after my salami sandwich," he moaned. "Hashem is such a meano!"
Ouch! What does one respond to that?!
One family member suggested telling him that min haTorah, only cooking them together is forbidden, and it's the rabbis that are "meanos." But this didn't seem like a great idea.
My wife and I decided that, at this age, he's not going to be able to understand the benefits of kashrus. Rather, we should emphasize all the great things that Hashem enables him to experience, which outweigh the "meanness" of having to wait for his choco. What do you think?
(Halachically, a child is permitted to eat dairy without waiting. Still, one should try to train them otherwise. And, trust me, if it wouldn't have been this incident, he would have found another example of why Hashem, along with everyone else, is a "meano"!)