One of the hugest things I was raised with is the very important concept of respecting one’s elders.
Yes, I know we all are, but it was like in technicolor, 24/7.
There’s a grandparent in the room? They get the best seat and the most attention.
A parent says something? You hop to it, pronto.
The older you are, the closer you are to the Sinai experience, and therefore, the holier you are – by definition.
Yes, I was a normal child, and didn’t always agree or like the things my parents did. But boy, did I know to be careful with how I expressed that. Not because I was angelic, and not because I was punished or intimidated or anything unhealthy like that, but it was part of the air I breathed that this was a core and central part of being a Jew and a mentsch.
Now I’m trying to raise my kids this way. It’s not always easy, or guaranteed. But the results are priceless. And the only reason it works is because it’s a third party – God. He made up these rules, not me.
There’s the rub, right there.