The most nerve-racking job for a Rabbi is to walk into a pre-school classroom unprepared.
Today, I spent time with our Douglas Family ECC pre-K students, on the eve of Shavuot, where we celebrate the receiving of Torah at Mount Sinai. Yesterday, I was given a list of questions that our students had about God and Torah. Wise beyond their years, here is a sample of what they asked me.
1. Who created God?
2. How did God create Shabbat when God was resting?
3. What is God doing when people are dying?
4. Who created trains and trucks?
5. What languages does God understand?
6. When will God come down from the sky?
Please remember: These questions were not written by Rabbinical school students but were asked by children so interested in Torah and the way that the divine presence works in the world.
When you peruse this list, what you really obtain is the essence of Torah Min Hashamyim, Heavenly Torah.
As a child. God seems unimaginable, greater than grand, unfathomable, and surreal.
As an adult, God can seem distant, untouchable, and unreachable. Yet, we all know a God who can be imminent, close, comforting, and warm.
This God comes in witnessing the beautiful acts humanity engages in with each other.
Last Sunday, 50 members of Sinai Temple Religious visited Our Big Kitchen LA (OBKLA). For two hours, we made meatballs and cookies by scratch, and prepared hundreds of meals that were about to feed the hungry of our city.
This was the last day of religious school and yet, our Sinai family decided to take the words of the Torah they learned in the classroom and bring the Heavenly Torah down to this world. Parents and children worked side by side to bring God’s presence into that space.
Rabbi Heschel once said, “We are closer to God when we are asking questions then when we thing we have answers.” If that is the case, I can tell you our pre-K students are experiencing the Divine in a deep way.
As we stand at the foot of Mount Sinai to celebrate Shavuot, let’s continue our curiosity to enable us to experience God in a way that brings God’s Torah from the heavens, deep within our souls, strengthening the relationships between us human beings, as the prophet Micah teaches us, “To do justice, love mercy, and walk in God’s way.”