This afternoon, a young boy, I would speculate under the age of 8, stopped by my home. He knocked so lightly that you could hardly hear his knock. I answered the door, he mumbled that he is collecting for a particular fund. I asked him to repeat it and he did, but still not audibly. I gave him my contribution which he took and said thank you and he was off on his bike.
Parents, please wake up. Do you know where your child is every moment of the day? This may not be New York or the likes, but we are not immune to problems. How can we allow our children to knock on strangers’ doors? How can we allow our children to roam freely unsupervised? When swimming, we have a buddy system. Why not do this in general when outside the home unsupervised. Do you not have any concern about the safety of your child?
You allow your children to go to shul “B” while you attend shul “A”. You allow your children to roam the streets unsupervised. What happened to old time chinuch when a parent walked with his child to shul, hold his hand. You will take your child to a sporting event and hold his hand, make him sit next to you, take him to the bathroom. Don’t you think it would be most appropriate and find favor in the eyes of the Bashefer if you walked lovingly with your child to shul and sat with him during davening. Teach by example not by hollow words. How can your child learn from you if he is in another shul unsupervised and seeing inappropriate behavior in shul. It says in Keriyas Shema, “v’shinntom levonecho, v’dibarto bom, bshivtecho bveiseicho, uvlectecho vaderech, uvshochbcho uvkumecho.” “Teach them thoroughly to your children and speak to them while you sit in your home, while you walk on the way, when you retire and when you rise”.
On another note, how can you allow your child to collect for a tzedoka without credentials? We ask meshulochim for credentials. Where is the puska for the child to carry with him / her? What if the child is mugged by nisht fin inzere? What about bike safety?
To the tzedokos that enlist the children and the schools and youth groups that encourage it, don’t you have any shame, any achrieus for putting these precious children in harm’s way, ch”v? It is one thing to allow the children to collect in shul, if the parent brings them to shul and takes them home, but alone on the streets?
Learn to love the precious gift from the Bashefer. Learn to carry out your sacred obligation to protect and watch over these precious children entrusted to you by the Bashefer.
A concerned and worried grandparent
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