Children will say the darndest things...
Finally, one of us got around to asking him what type of chayal he wanted to be exactly - perhaps a paratrooper? An elite forces soldier?
The boy responded: I want to be a chayal who is m'sareiv p'kuda (a soldier who refuses orders).
This caused everyone at the table to let out a good laugh, but the more I thought about it, the more my feelings became conflicted.
On the one hand, it is sad that a Jewish boy, growing up in the Jewish State, needs to now associate serving in the IDF with refusing orders. On the other hand, he clearly is still motivated to serve in the IDF (as motivated as one can be at the age of 3-4).
I would imagine that both of these messages - of the importance to serve in the army, and of the importance of not blindly accepting orders have been ingrained in the home (although I could be wrong), and I just wonder at what age we should be teaching our children these lessons and values?
I'm relatively new to the parenting business myself, but isn't there a time to just enjoy being a kid and growing up? Or maybe that's just it - that education - particularly Jewish education begins at day 1...
Either way, being a parent is a big responsibility, and I can only hope that I am blessed with the insight and wisdom on how best to raise my family and how and when to best impart all of the values and messages that are so central to being a Jew.
G-d help me... and all of the Jewish People.