Theology for a Four Year Old
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I have a question which I was hoping you may be able to help my husband and I with. This morning my daughter asked me the following:
"Mommy, how does G-d make the world work?"
I was unable to answer. I was hoping you could provide me with a way to answer the question in words that an almost 4 year old will understand!
What a sweet question. I hope you are proud that your nearly 4 year old ponders such issues.
Maybe try asking her this:
How does your body work? As you sit there, you are breathing and blinking and digesting food. How do you do all that? Your hair grows, your fingernails grow, you get taller all the time. Even in your sleep. How do you do it?
The answer: you just live, and by being alive your body grows and develops. You have a soul, a neshoma, that gives your body life. Just by having a neshoma, you are alive, your body works. You don't need to do anything.
So too G-d is the life behind the universe. It is like the world is a big body, and G-d is the soul behind it. Just by Him being, He enlivens everything.
But there is one thing you do need to do to stay alive. You need to eat well to keep your neshoma in our body. If you don't eat you get weak as the neshoma starts to leave. When you eat you get strong again.
So too we have to do something to keep G-d in the world. That is mitzvos. Every mitzvah we do brings G-d into the world, brings the soul into the body. So when you say the Shema prayer, or give tzedaka (charity), or light Shabbos candles or listen to your parents you are giving G-d strength!
It is a deep concept, but try it, you may be surprised how easily a child can grasp spiritual ideas. She may have a little body, but she has a huge soul.