12) Children


Although the unborn child is precious, it won’t be considered by the bible as a human being before birth. ” The soul ” appears only after birth, or according to others 40 days after conception. Indeed, even if all organs are present, a fœtus is not able to survive on its own. It’s only when the umbilical chord is cut that the infant becomes responsible for it’s own life and that conscience appears : ” to be or not to be ? “, ” breath or die ?”, ” I am”.




If the fœtus endangers it’s mother’s life, it becomes an assassin and it’s developpement deserves to be stopped. This is a very important decision in Jewish ethics as codified by a great number of rabbinical commentaries and differs as such fundamentally from the Roman Catholic point of view.

The bible demands respect for any form of life, and proposes hygiene rules allowing life to develop as good as possible. But to the children it demands respect for the parents (one of the 10 major commands !)

In other terms children have to adapt to parent’s conditions, which we call education.

But in order to respect their parents, parents need to deserve this respect by guiding their children to adapt to the rules of their parent’s world. Education is a major concept in this adaptation.

To help children in acquiring a knowledge enabling them to adapt to life conditions is a conditio sine qua non to merit the respect of the children.

No salvation out of the thora is the credo of the orthodox Jews, justifying the absence of exploration and creativity. They say that God made the first man at his image and as this first ancestor was closest to perfection (God), his descendance can only degenerate.

Though Science of evolution learns us that reality is different. The most adapted to his environment survives (this doesn’t means the strongest !) The Jewish people as such, despite all catastrophies falling on it survived other people, stronger in number and in strength. An explanation for this, is that the principles carried from generation to generation by the Jewish people are universal. This explains also the success of both monotheïstic religions, Islam and Christianism, adopting the main principles of Judaïsm.

This brings us to a fundamental Jewish phylosophy question : Is evolution degenerative or constructive ? An argument for degenerative evolution is the perpetual loss of aquisitions by death and recommencement from scratch at birth.





Following biblical genesis litteraly is a doom story. Man is doomed to degenerate. Darwinism shows that adaptation to the environment selects the most appropriate forms of life.

The question remains : Is it better to have a notorious ancestor, or is it better to hope for a notorious successor ?

In modern psychology research has shown that adventurous people with a spirit of enterprise and planning for the future are usually happy in life. On the contrary, people continuously ruminating the past are unhappy. Fromm would say that people living in the ” being ” mode are happy, and those living in the “having ” mode are unhappy

Indeed, progressive sionist movements and ‘hassidic messianic communities show a kind of enjoying of life which is completely absent in conservative orthodox communities with absence of creativity and unhappyness.

Jewish education at school has thus to be based on knowledge, creativity, open mindedness and insight in the essential values of the Thora, where notions of punishment and reward should more be based on the consequence of his own acts than on the terror produced by an anthropomorphic God. And this knowledge should be provided to the children by any means just as told to us by ” Pirkei Avot ” (the wisdom of the elders).




















Chaque jour à la même heure

Elle se lève et lave ses cœurs

Avec soin choisit leur chemise

Et leur sourit pour qu’ils disent:

Mamy chérie on t’adore, fais-nous des câlins par milliers

Sur la tête et sur le ventre, sur la jambe et sur les genoux

Sur le nez et dans le cou



Chaque jour dans sa cuisine

Elle prépare de bonnes tartines

Avec soin choisit condiments

Et petits plats pour les gourmands



Et quand le soleil se couche

Elle les borde et elle les mouche

Conte une histoire donne une bise

Et leur sourit pour qu’ils disent:

Mamy chérie on t’adore, fais nous des câlins, à demain…
















Published in: on 24/10/2006 at 08:43  Leave a Comment  

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