Sitting in the car, we ended up talking about kosher… whether certain foods are or are not kosher, what animals are kosher - “are pigs kosher? are cows kosher? are horses kosher?”
There was a minute and then Naomi, from the backseat: “Is it a sin…?”
Ugh. I shuddered, as I waited for her to finish her thought, steeling myself for the Whole Big Theological Can o’ Worms. Because that is NOT the way we teach mitzvos. Hashem gives us mitzvos out of love; we do them because it helps make us better people, brings us closer to Hashem, etc.
I wondered where she’d even HEARD the word “sin” – in 15 years of Jewish parenting, I don’t remember ever using that word.
She continued. “Is it a sin… or a sav, in the word ‘soosa’ [female horse]?”
“It’s a samech, actually; two samechs, in ‘soos’ and ‘soosa’.”
Dodged a bullet! And furthermore, proved the wisdom of waiting for children to collect their thoughts BEFORE answering their “deep” questions…