Monday, December 11, 2006

Thou shalt not steal

Nine-year-old Monkeyboy in DC was explaining what he'd learned Sunday morning at Sunday school as we were driving home to mom and lunch.

What about in Dr. W.'s class I asked. (Dr. W. is a physicist who moonlights on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings to teach nine-year-olds, G-d bless her.) Aren't you guys still learning stuff about the 10 commandmants?

Yeah, he sort of grunted over the bleeps and blorps of his PSP.

You guys get to the one about honoring thy mother and thy father?

No, I don't think we've done that one, we're kind of skipping around. We learned about the second one today.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me?

Yeah, but we've been skipping around.

Well, I know you guys covered coveting right? (Dr. W. and I had talked and laughed about this a few weeks earlier.)

Yeah, but there was an interesting point in the one about stealing.

(When Monkeyboy starts off with an introduction like "...there was an interesting point...," I know its something he's been scheming about. The nine-year-olds I talk to don't talk that way in the normal course of things, Monkeyboy most definitely included.)

Did you know, he said with eyes twinkling, that even waking somebody up is considered stealing, because you're stealing their sleep?

We had a bad few mornings last week about him getting up for school with a minimum of stalling and whining.

I never heard that one before, my friend, I told him. I'm sure it doesn't apply when you have a responsibility to be someplace, or I do.

He agreed, and we talked some more about why we need to get up when we do.

This morning, he got up with the barest minimum of difficulty.

And on the Internet, I found this.

I also found this and this, if you like learning your Bible without cartoons.

Every kid in the world understands wanting to sleep later. (So do many grown-ups.)

Dr. W. hit on a detail that was sure to catch a kid's attention. And once you've got their attention, you can teach them the more important stuff.

Thank you Dr. W.


Unknown said...

Why is GOD spelled G-d on your site as well as on the site's that you linked us to?

David in DC said...

Many Jews do this when spelling out the Deity's name.

I'm not sure if its real Jewish law or superstition, but the idea behind it is that His (or Her) name ought not to be written out on anything that is easily destroyed.

You'll see all three letters in English prayer books, and all of the letters in Hebrew in actual Torah scrolls, (and in other documents that won't de destroyed like my ketubah, or marriage contract) but, among observant Jews, you won't see it written that way in everyday pieces of writing.

Even orally, very observent Jews speaking about the Diety in conversation will use the substitute "HaShem," which means "the Name" rather than the actual name.

As in, "my bunions will feel better after a good soak in epsom salts, HaShem willing."

I'm not particularly observant in that way, but I write for, among others, an audience that might find naming G-d jarring and even offensive on something so temporary and secular as a blog.