Teaching Death to Children

 

Moshe Ben-Chaim


 

Reader: My 5 year old, has been questioning me regarding death. He asks the same question several times a week. He probably is even more preoccupied because I havenít answered him to his satisfaction. But basically, how do I answer a 5 year old who asks what happens when you die? (This has been more on his mind since my grandmother passed away 2 months ago). Thanks, as always.

 

Mesora: I discussed your question with Rav Mann. He said to tell the child that death is when you are ďwith GodĒ. It is a very happy time. There is no need to discuss the morbidity, or painful ideas connected. I donít know if you need to tell him more right now, unless he asks. If he does, please email me. He may ask if you will be with him there. I feel you should tell him yes, at this point. You can also tell him that there are things that man is not smart enough to know. This way, he doesnít feel you are holding out on him, or left out from matters that others know. He may even find comfort in the knowledge that adults donít have all the answers either.