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    The wonder of being a child – Tazria

    Tazria often falls just before Pesach; the sidra begins with the child, whilst Pesach, for all its adult philosophy, fascinates children more than anyone else.

    A child who has never known the excitement, the colour, the aroma, the sheer physical taste of Pesach is, spiritually, a deprived child.

    That must be why when people begin to have children, they become far more committed to Jewish life and practice. Their instinct tells them they have to give a child a chance. Not only a chance to know what Judaism is, but to experience it through a child’s eyes.

    The point is illustrated by Francis Thompson:

    “Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of today.

    “It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowliness into loftiness; and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul; it is to live in a nutshell and to count yourself the king of infinite space.”

    That is one of the reasons to give a child Pesach – to let him or her believe in beauty and believe in belief.

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