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The Last Word

The Torah teaches a person to “ask your father,” about “one generation and another” (v.7), i.e. about “the days of the Mashiach and the World to Come” (Rashi ibid., see Classic Questions), and, “he will tell you.” Here we see that a father should educate his child about the concept of Mashiach, and not leave the child to “pick up” knowledge of the matter by himself.

Even though the concept of Mashiach is a lofty one, with immense mystical significance which can only be fully appreciated by an adult, nevertheless, it remains one of the principles of our faith which needs to be taught to children even at a young age.

Obviously, the educational approach will be different in the case of children than with adults. For example, with a child one might stress the fact that with the coming of Mashiach, “delicacies will be as plentiful as dust” (Rambam, end of Laws of Kings), as this is something which the child can relate to easily (and it is, of course, totally true). Naturally, when the child matures, so will his perception of Mashiach,but one cannot wait for children to grow up before teaching them about a major principle of our faith. Rather, when still very young, a child should be taught to cry out earnestly and enthusiastically: “We want Mashiach now!”

(Based on Sichas Motzoi Shabbos Parshas Ha”azinu 5739; Terumah 5741)


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