” my children and i have a biological connection, when i open my mouth their ears shut”
l’dor v’dor, לדור ודור, is a hebrew term which speaks to the generational responsibility to pass along knowledge from one generation to the next. in the torah, deuteronomy 6 provides that with respect to the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances, that you shall teach them to your children. thus, there is the generational responsibility to educate children.
this concept was not lost on one president of the united states. he declared that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. we didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. it must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the united states where men were free.”
the notion of freedom ties in closely with the ten commandments. the ten commandments was a covenant post-bondage and represented the rules necessary for a “free” society to operate. likewise, the united states after its separation from england generated societal contracts which included the declaration of independence, constitution and the bill of rights.
we all must spend time with children, young adults, and those in college to educate them concerning morals and freedom. these two concepts are tied together. freedom without morality is anarchy. for individuals to enjoy the most amount of freedom possible within a society, moral conduct must be in place. there must be bright-lines that certain conduct cannot and should not be tolerated.
the challenge is how do we do it? my children tend to zone out when i speak to them. deuteronomy does not simply simply talk about speaking to your children. it talks about teaching your children. teaching isn’t limited to words.
i too share my children’s physiological reaction to when my father speaks to me. i just don’t hear him. growing up, however, i did see him. i saw him as a tireless worker who was determined to support his family. i saw a work-ethic second to none. i saw him doing charity work. for many years, he would solicit money for a charitable organization.
he went to work everyday with his paper bag lunch of a tuna fish sandwich and never complained. on the weekends, there was always some home improvement project that he seemed to work on. while i did not listen to him, i saw a lot. what i saw, changed my life. over time, my work ethic has become strong and always have my eye out towards helping those in need.
in sum, teaching the next generation involves employing all means of education. your words are merely part of the arsenal that you can employ. your children watch every move that you make. what do they see? a responsible moral person or something else? it is important to note that children possess a “bs” meter. as a result, if your words are different from your actions, they know you are full of it.