Is G-d Everywhere?
Moshe Ben-Chaim

Should we teach our children that G-d is everywhere?

As adults, having read Maimonide's 13 Principles, and having learned in school, we know that G-d is not physical, therefore He cannot take up space, and therefore cannot be located "everywhere". We would like to teach our children the idea that G-d knows all. So how do we achieve this, and at the same time not mislead our children? Additionally, I wish to point out that I feel this common explanation that G-d is everywhere is given due to a false conviction that children have to be taught differently than adults. I do not find this to be true. Having taught children, I have found that the only concession I needed was using different terms and words. The ideas however which I taught were identical to those which I teach adults. Children can understand as long as you explain ideas on their vocabulary level.

There is a way we can teach children this idea, provided they are on the level where it can makes sense to them. According to a Rabbi, telling the child the following explanation when they are not ready is useless. As the gemara points out, one Rabbi - when still a child - responded to the question "where is G-d" by pointing up, the other Rabbi when a child responded the same, only first, he stepped outdoors, then pointed up. Indicating the level of understanding children have, and even different levels of understanding.

If however a child is ready, we can tell our children upon their asking "where is G-d?", that "we do not know". There's nothing wrong with telling your child that you are ignorant of something, especially when this is a main concept in Judaism, i.e., that we do not know G-d. G-d told this very statement to Moshe Rabbeinu when Moshe asked to learn about G-d's essence. "Ki lo yirani hadam vachay", "man cannot know me while alive".

We can tell our children, "I don't know where G-d is, but I know that He does exist, because all of these trees, and animals, and stars and the sun and moon couldn't have made themselves. There had to be something which made them. All the laws of nature which make the sun rise everyday, and the plants grow, .....there has to be something really powerful that does all that."

An approach similar to this will enlighten the child that there must be a Powerful Being doing "all these things", and "even if I can't see Him, I know He has to be alive."

The reason I opt for teaching this method is not only because it is the truth, but by giving a false ideas means that the child will eventually have to rid himself of it. Sometimes adults don't question what they learned when younger, and in this area, it is destructive to have a notion of a god who takes up space. Judaism's idea of G-d is completely removed from any corporeality. It is the true idea of G-d.

The rule: It is better to have less of an understanding, than a wrong understanding.