The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe visited a city in Russia. There he saw old Chassidim with long beards cleaning a house. He asked them, “What are you doing?”
They said, “Tonight the holy Rabbi of Tolna is coming so we are cleaning the house.”
He said, “Where are your children? Why don’t they do it?”
They answered, “We wouldn’t let the children do it, it’s such a big honor.”
He said, “That is exactly why you should let your children do it.”
The Rebbe later wrote in a letter, “I hope I am wrong, but I very much doubt that their children are still Chassidim.”
Fathers and mothers, when you put your children to sleep at night, don’t just tell them to believe in G-d. Give them a taste of how much G-d believes in them. Give them a taste of how much the world needs every child.
When children call their parents in the middle of the night, they just cry. They don’t even call, “Mother, Father….” They just cry. How does it feel when your baby cries at night? It’s a taste of how GYd felt when the High Priest was calling His Name on Yom Kippur.
The Rabbi of Rhizin taught: Before a baby is born, while the soul is in Heaven, the baby chooses who his parents will be. He looks at all the possible parents and chooses the ones he sees love him the most. The baby sees in their eyes that they are longing for him to be their child.
There are three different levels of walking. There is walking before someone, there is walking with someone, and there is walking behind someone. Every father and mother is ready to walk before his child: “I will walk in front of you and tell you exactly what to do.” Sometimes a parent is willing to walk with the child. But to walk behind?
Unless I connect to G-d, how can I teach my children to do so? I must be connected to G-d on that deepest level, with that which is special about me. Otherwise, how can I connect my children to that part of themselves which is special? How can I help them connect that special part of themselves to G-d?
If I was the Chief Rabbi of Israel, the first thing I would establish is that yelling at your children, or at your spouse, or at anyone else would be a criminal offence.
Shlomo Carlebach zt’l