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“Gather together the people — the men, the women, and the young children …” (31:12)

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Rashi cites Chazal in the Talmud, Chagigah 3a, who explain that the men came to learn, while the women came to hear, and the children came to provide reward for those who brought them.  According to Chazal, it seems that the parents had no particular reason for bringing their children other than providing an opportunity for themselves to receive reward. This is enigmatic!  If the sole purpose of bringing the children was to avail the parents of reward they could have been rewarded for bringing wood or stone or anything else for that matter.  Why did they specifically bring their little children ?

We suggest that parental involvement is an integral part of the chinuch process. It is easy to have someone else “drop off” the children at school or at the rebbe. It is, however, not the same thing as when the parent shows concern and personally involves himself in his child’s educational progress.  The Torah admonishes the parents to bring along their children, because it wants the parents to be there when the child is being educated. When a child sees that his parents are there for him at all times, that they do not raise him by proxy, he begins to realize the tremendous value they place on his Torah education.

Children tend to gravitate towards that which their parents hold in highest esteem.  What greater positive message about the importance of Torah study in our life can we give our children than our personal availability to take them to the rebbe and include them in our own study ?  It is where we take our children which gives them the most significant message.

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