I think that this is an important piece for all to read.
How often do I hear that parents won’t come to services because they are concerned about their children misbehaving. Frankly, I don’t think it is really about them misbehaving… it is about them being children and us not tolerating them.
I can recall a time when, as a new rabbi, I was approaching the bimah for a special service in our community. My daughters were quite little and got a little, well… toddler-ish. A congregant reprimanded my wife for their innocent, child-like behavior. My wife was so hurt that she left the sanctuary with our daughters. While the person later apologized (and felt horrible that this was done to the new rabbi’s family), the truth is… it happens a lot.
If we can be so easily distracted by children in services, perhaps we should focus on our own souls and prayers with a little more energy.
Please read “Children in the Sanctuary.”
I look forward to reading your thoughts on this…