By Noam Amdurski, Matzav.com
They were questions I was not prepared for. I stood there, mumbled an answer and said we’d discuss it more tomorrow.
My son had asked me about yesterday’s events.
“Ta, how could something like this happen? How could Hashem make it happen? Why would people do that? Why would a person try to get other people into so much trouble?”
They were innocent questions from an innocent 8-year-old child.
And my 12-year-old has the same questions no doubt – I can see it on his face – but he’s too ‘old’ to actually articulate the questions to me.
I thought it is only the adults talking about it. Apparently, the kids are too. And, like us, they want answers. But they want answers to their questions of how, what and why. Many adults, unfortunately, are more focused on the “who.” Children, in their innocence, simply want reasons and explanations.
What do we answer them? What is there to say? How are we to explain such gut-wrenching and heart-breaking episodes to our precious kids?
It seems like, with each passing day, we are being posed with more and more difficult questions by our children on a host of issues. Their innocence is stolen from them at such a young age. We have to educate them about their own safety, their privacy, their dignity, the fact that there are people out there who may be a danger to them, the need to be open with their parents, and more. And now we have to explain to them how evil can rear its ugly head in ways that befuddle the adults in their lives. How loyalty to family and friends can disappear, and how the impossible has become reality.
My son will come home from day camp today with the questions once again. And with perhaps additional questions. And he’ll pepper me again at the Shabbos table, at which time I will state that the Shabbos table is reserved for wonderful family conversation, beautiful zemiros and enjoying the Shabbos spirit. But sooner or later, I’ll have to have an answer. I’ll have to explain how this can happen.
What do I say?
What is there to say?