Using Literature to Build Jewish Values in Your Children
Let's go "Beyond the Book" with
Get Well Soon - A Lesson In Bikur Cholim
“All who visit the sick, help to save their lives.” Nedarim: 40a
Little Eli loves to do the important mitzva of Bikur Chomin, visiting the sick. But germs, hospital rules, and doctor’s orders make it very difficult.
Very often our children learn concepts like visiting the sick, but when it comes time to put mitzvah into action we tell them they are too young to actually go to a hospital or nursing home to visit. This is a common childhood dilemma -the infant cries, but the little brother is too young to pick up the baby. Young children are asked to help around the house but they are forbidden to plug in the vacuum or use a knife to chop the vegetables. They want to shovel the snow but find that, in reality, the shovel is too large.
What is a child to do? Eli knew the difference between making a get well card and going to the hospital. He understood the difference between the visiting a sick friend and making a telephone call. He vents his upset in a very acceptable way-he bangs his drum, jumps up and down and makes the loudest noises he can and when he finds out his sister has a headache, he suddenly realizes how he
can truly practice Bikur Cholim. He gives her what she needs - and what he
is capable of doing. He gives her peace and quiet so she can sleep.
To go beyond the book with Get Well Soon
may require us to override our own need to do things more efficiently, thoroughly and quickly, and allow our children
to feel needed. This parental practice takes flexibility and patience on our part. To do so, however, will most certainly be rewarded in the future with a happier, better adjusted child. What is critical in child rearing is the ability to think of alternative ways so that our children can succeed in performing character-building mitzvahs.
Dr. Abraham Twerski, an eminent psychiatrist, traces most of his patients problems to their own misconceptions of themselves. . “These misconceptions are tied to their inability to understand their own strengths and capabilities.” Using that statement as our guide, it is incumbent then, that we have an obligation to help our children enhance their own strengths and weaknesses in doing acts of kindness, just as we try to enhance their talents in music and sports.
Get Well Soon
demonstrates how children can find age appropriate ways to do Bikur Cholim, personally emphasizing the experience of putting the needs of others before themselves, making them mitzvah partners with us in the family firm of Comfort and Caring, Inc.
Dina Rosenfeld, author of fourteen children’s books, has done it again-in a simple child’s forum she teaches a powerful tenet of Judaism.
Rina Lyampe, the illustrator, makes the story come alive with vivid and charming illustrations-so fabulous that you will want to buy three books-one for reading, one for framing, and one for a gift.
Buy "Get Well Soon"!