By Rabbi Shaya Cohen
I. Make sure that all Torah learning is exciting, stimulating, and interactive.
II. Make sure that they realize that t’filah is to inspire in us a greater appreciation of Hashem, develop a closer relationship with Him, and trust Him, and through that process be able to receive the benefits we want from Hashem.
III. Alert them to the ongoing, endless incidents of hashgachah pratis throughout our history and continuing throughout our own lives.
IV. Encourage them to discover Hashem’s hashgachah pratis — individual and intimate involvement in their own lives.
V. Make sure that they are aware that Hashem’s purpose in creating the world was to bestow chesed on His creations in both this world and the next.
VI. Be sure they understand that the purpose of mitzvah performance and Torah study is only to refine one’s character.
VII. Let them know, through teaching and personal example, that each mitzvah provides a benefit to the one who observes it specifically and generally, fostering happiness, closeness to Hashem, and eternal reward.
VIII. Learn with them parts of Shir HaShirim with Rashi to help them to realize how much Hashem loves us, despite our shortcomings, and how much we love Him, despite the difficulties He sometimes makes us endure.
IX. Let them know that the more they refine their midos, the more like Hashem they are, and the closer and more fulfilling their relationship is with Him — in this world and beyond.
X. Make sure that real simchah and a sense of privilege to have Torah permeate your home, your life, and your observance of all mitzvos.
Rabbi Shaya Cohen is the Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh and Kollel Ner Yehoshua for over twenty years. Before that, he founded Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles and served as its dean for a decade. Rabbi Cohen founded Priority-1 in 1987 to help at-risk teenagers and their parents and families. Its workshops and events have taught thousands of parents and educators to inspire children to a lifelong love of Torah and Yiddishkeit. Rabbi Cohen can be reached at 516-295-5700, and Priority-1 resources are available online at www.priority-1.org