Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin - The Hardest Challenge in Chinuch, When Everyone Does It!

Parshas Emor begins with the prohibition of Kohanim to defile themselves to a dead body. Hashem tells this to Moshe in a unusual language, first saying "אמור אל הכוהנים", say to the Kohanim, and then once again, "ואמרת אליהם" say to them. Rashi says this redundant language is to tell the Kohanim that they must watch over their children as well. This rule of Chinuch applies to all Mitzvos in the Torah, so why does the Torah teach this to us specifically by the mitzva of Tumas Kohanim?

It is said over in the name of Rav Zalman Sorotzkin that Chinuch is not a difficult task. When a parent teaches a child right from wrong, it becomes quite obvious to the child that we are special people and we should not act like the non-Jews who have no boundaries. For whom is Chinich truly difficult? For the Kohanim. Why? Every parent has heard, when trying to teach his child right from wrong, something to the effect of, "But so and so's father lets him do it, and his father is a Rosh Yeshiva!"

For the Kohanim the task of Chinuch is very difficult. The Kohen is telling his child that he cannot do things that are permitted for the other children in his class. If being in the same room as a dead body is so defiling, how is it that best boys in his class can do it and it doesn't affect them in any negative way?

Here also the Torah commands us that even when the child has a hard time grasping the concept, we must still teach our children right from wrong. And moreover since they do not understand, it is incumbent upon us as parents to guard them even more carefully.