“Respect Your Mother and Your Father:” Fifth and Sixth Grade Perspectives

“…Be holy, for I, Adonai your God, am holy. Every one of you must respect your mother and your father…(Lev. 19:2-3).”


Conversation #1

  • Sixth Grader 1: “Why does it need to say that? Shouldn’t we respect them anyway? We should respect everyone.”
  • Fifth Grader 1: “Yeah, but God is making sure everyone knows.”
  • Sixth Grader 2: “Our parents are the ones we see the most of out of school Those are the people you spend so much time with, and you may…grow far away from respect. Also you should respect them because your parents have seen more in life.”
  • Fifth Grader 2: “They’re wiser!”


Conversation #2:

  • Fifth Grader 3: “Respect your mother and your father – it’s just the right thing to do.”
  • Rabbi Rebecca: “Why does the Torah say it, then?”
  • Fifth Grader 3: “You should be able to know these things. God is just, like, making sure. Like, you know, other people may have a different perspective on things, like if it’s a nice thing to do. Some people think that if someone slaps you, you should slap them back. Other people think that if someone slaps you, you should use your words.”
  • Fifth Grader 1: “And some people think that if someone slaps you, you should wait until later and then slap them back! But I think the Torah says ‘respect your mother and your father’ to remind you. To make sure you know.”
  • Fifth Grader 4: “I think it’s because God wants you to have his perspective on things.”

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