HaShem, or: Elohim

She deserves a poem true 
Her faithfulness confuses
me
    Just yesterday after pre-
school
I'd picked her 
up 
    -my pup- 
    she spoke with such indignity
about a friend -a six-year-
old- who wrote God's name 
and 
    "put an 'X'"
"Do you mean she crossed it out?"
"Yes and said her fam-
ily
    does not believe, nor she
    but that's not why she doesn't"
"Which name did she 
write? was it 'HaShem'?" "No
    she crossed out 'Elohim'
    and showed her friends"
"So what do you think about that?"
"How can she-
    we must respect-
    our teachers and our parents 
are
    in charge
but God is the most 
powerful he's in charge 
    of every-
thing"
Why is my child 
    so...
Where does she get...
"Yes, that is what some 
    people 
think" "Well 
our teacher says that we should 
believe in God" At a 
    state-secular 
pre-
school! And -then- today 
before pre-
school: "If God can speak to any-
    one, that means He can speak
    all languages!"
"Well, yes..."
Perhaps this is a poem, 
for-
    perhaps it's faith 
that's
    po-
  et-
  ry-

Today, for d’Verse’s “Open Link Night”, I’d like to share a poem that I wrote last June, a couple of months after creating this blog.

I decided to share this poem because recently I’ve been writing a lot about my daughter on this blog. She is now 6-years-old. When this was written, she was 5⅓-years-old… and to this day, she maintains her fascination with the concept of God and insists that she believes everything that is written in the Torah. Suffice it to say that she doesn’t get such ideas from me.

44 thoughts on “HaShem, or: Elohim”

  1. Let’s hope it was Hashem and not The Name. Yes G-d is Omnilinguistical, the fact that G-d is Omniscient really covers it all. And G-d speaks to those who listen and abides with them. She is the friend of wisdom, the first of G-d’s work.

        1. I don’t know for sure, but it is my guess that the little girl came home after hearing the teacher’s Torah stories and discussed God with her very secular parents. They, most likely, explained that they are secular atheists and don’t believe that crossing out God’s name means anything, regardless of what the preschool teacher said. So the little girl took her parents’ message to heart.

    1. Despite it being a secular preschool, her teacher (who does not identify as “Orthodox” or “religious” and who dresses like a secular Israeli) is very traditional and somewhat traditionally observes the Sabbath and keeps kosher, which is not uncommon in Israel. Said preschool teacher reads Bible stories to the kids and talks about all of the holidays with them (which she is supposed to do because it is a Jewish preschool) ~ and her traditional perspective comes clearly across to the children in how she teaches everything related to Judaism.

  2. “A little child shall lead them…” I love this poem. Your daughter is very intelligent to be thinking on this level. What a great interaction… and teachable moment!
    Dwight

  3. She is thinking…that’s a good thing. Her world will expand and so will her ideas. But I think you know that already. (K)

    1. Yes, she’s a thinker – and one never knows what she’s thinking about until she opens her mouth because she thinks about things that she learned weeks, months, or even years ago all the time – her thoughts lead her back to the past and well into the future too.

  4. What a gift she has been given to be raised in a family with such wonderful values and a school and teacher that encourages thought and intellect through stories. What a great age!

  5. I think children are much more innocent and more keen to believe truth… a very interesting memory I have as a Jewish 5 year old is hearing the name “Jesus” and just knowing that I loved Him and that He is truth… we were not allowed to speak His Name in my home growing up… just an unspoken rule in our Jewish household.

    1. Tatiana,

      I agree with you about children. They are unrestrained by our adult reservations!

      It’s strange to me that you were not allowed to speak Jesus’ name at home. I was raised in a secular Jewish family with parents from the USSR, and they never had any problems with me saying Jesus’ name or discussing him. It was clear that we didn’t accept him as God or as the Messiah, but there was never any issue regarding bringing him up in conversation at home. 🤷

      With my daughter, I haven’t mentioned Jesus yet, but not for any specific reason ~ it’s just that I haven’t yet explained all theological nuances of the many different faiths yet. But I have taught her that Christians go to church, Muslims go to mosque, and Jews go to synagogue. Also, I’ve taught her that the Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday, whereas the Christian Sabbath is on Sunday, and Muslims have their holy day on Friday. Plus, her family in Russia is Christian so that religion is not foreign to her.

      All best,
      David

  6. that sounds heavy – as well as full of love, David; what comes to me is the idea: take her out on a mountain top and tell her there, before dropping the subject, wisely: “g-o-d is beyond names”. And read her the story of Elija who performed all those miracles – only to end up finding g-o-d in nothing more than a gentle breeze. But even that may be too much. Try and respond to her 6-yr-old faith testing you as a playful 6-year-old might be more effective than reacting as the 41-yrand keep warm, old sceptic? Warmly best wishes

      1. I meant heavy-hearted, not that you seemed heavy with her; but even that may have not been right. Just out of interest: Are you able to discuss this with teachers at parents’ evening?

  7. Ingrid, I beg to differ – while it is common that traditional/inherited concepts and images of Mystery last into adulthood, living in, growing up into a multicultural world will mean she has to grow out of them, transcend them, make them her own – which they are not yet, can’t be, at such a young age. Respectfully,

  8. That was deep, wow! your daughter indeed deserves a poem, and this is a beautiful one. I also loved your use of colors, very clever!

    1. I agree 100% ~ the only reason I’m not worried about it is because of her age – as she gets older, I’m sure we’ll have lots of in-depth conversations about God, faith, Torah, etc.

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