“Why?” My 4 year old asks as I hurriedly prepare him for his dentist appointment. “But why?” he continues pressing me.
No one can deny it, we live in a generation of questions.
My son keeps me on my toes with his how’s, what’s, and why’s. He’s a curious kid. As an inexperienced mother, still practically a youngster myself, I don’t even know most of the answers to his constant flow of questions.
But it got me thinking. How often do we just negate our questions for practical purposes? Ignore a passing thought because we are embarrassed? Bury our inquiries under a false sense of confidence?
I look into my son’s questioning eyes. That’s when I realize that I have unanswered questions of my own.
Why do I feel so lonely even though I have a husband and children? Why is my relationship with G-d dependent on the way I dress? How am I meant to raise children in such an uncertain and cruel world?
Once they start, the questions never end. My son and I are actually quite similar. I pause from the hurried morning rush, and sit myself next to Eli, putting a gentle arm around him.
“Sweetheart, we are going to the dentist because Hashem gave you a beautiful smile of baby teeth. But soon, they will all fall out, and new, big-boy teeth will grow in. The dentist needs to check your teeth to make sure they’re ready for this big step.”
“But why?” He asks. I smile. Sometimes, questions aren’t meant to be answered.
Later in the day, Eli is back at school, and I have a few hours to myself. I walk over to the Levi Yitzchak Library on Kingston Avenue. My questions have been neglected for too long, and it’s time to find some guidance.
I’m just in time for a new parenting series. I wait until the end to speak privately with Rabbi Manis Friedman. “I have a lot of questions,” I say. He grins, “You’re part of a questioning generation. Welcome.”
And so begins a quest for truth. I am re-introduced to a G-d that I didn’t know existed, despite growing up in a completely frum environment. I am learning a novel perspective on relationships, and I’ve discovered tools to resolve conflict with my husband and connect with him on a deeper level. Every morning, I drink a cup of coffee while listening to my favorite YouTube channel: Rabbi Friedman’s insight into parenting the children of today’s day and age.
Six months later, my son has another dentist appointment. But this time, I’m much more equipped. Eli lost his first baby tooth last week. His curious smile now reveals an empty gap in the middle, but his face is beaming brighter than ever. Eli knows that his mouth is making space for a smile that is bigger and better than before.
Sometimes, a question is all you need to promote deeper growth. A burning question is like a tooth that is wiggling for way too long. Eventually, it just needs to come out! Just like the gap in Eli’s smile, it takes getting rid of the old to make space for something new.
Rabbi Manis Friedman, “YouTube’s Most Popular Rabbi,” is a leading force in supporting our youth and answering the queries of a questioning generation.
The world is thirsty for truth. Rabbi Freidman’s thought-provoking content and practical podcasts ensure men, women, and children that they are not alone in their questions. There are answers out there!
As for me, I’m learning that not all questions have answers. I’ve discovered that, sometimes, the answer is in the question itself. But that’s a whole different conversation for a future Rabbi Friedman class 🙂
We just celebrated 19 Kislev, the Alter Rebbe’s Chag HaGeulah. As emphasized, at the time of his release from prison, the Alter Rebbe declared the words Padah B’shalom Nafshi – “He redeemed my soul in peace.” We know that the imprisonment of the Alter Rebbe was spiritual just as much as it was physical, and the same is true regarding his redemption on 19 Kislev.
In our generation, a question that is answered is a redemption of the soul. It allows one to soar higher in his/her service of G-d, with further insight and added joy.
In honor of 19 Kislev, support Rabbi Friedman’s work to provide educational content and spiritual direction for people from all walks of life.
A questioning generation is waiting for guidance. The world is thirsty for truth. Help Rabbi Manis Friedman answer their questions.