Message for Children (and English Second Language)
“Message from the Rebbe,” freely adapted for youth and ESL from Lubavitch International, Vol. 2, No. 1 (’90), p. 3
We are at an amazing time in history. Many harsh governments have been replaced, leading the people of the world to a higher standard of morality. Now is a good time to think about how these changes happened, and about how to continue this process and keep the good changes. The Torah sages taught that G-d, in His perfect goodness, created the world because He wants to do good things. It says in Psalms 145, “The L-rd is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.” Those who are good want to do good things for others, and G-d expressed His goodness by creating the universe. This is how the universe and all life receive G-d’s goodness.
Everything that happens in the world, even things that look bad, such as natural disasters, will bring something good. In the same way, when people want to do bad things, deep inside they really want to do good things. But G-d also gives them opposite feelings so they will have a free choice. If G-d made the world totally good, without any effort by people to make it good, then people would not think that goodness is something special.
It is important to realize that when a person works against something bad, either out in the world or inside of himself, he should not be fighting. Instead, by concentrating on the good in people and in the world, and by bringing out the good, the bad will be overcome by the good, and the bad will disappear sooner or later. G-d gave people free choice, but He also gave us what we need to help us choose to do the good thing. He gave us His set of moral rules that apply at all times and for all people, so we can live in a good and civilized way.
These rules are the Seven Laws of Noah, and they give us G-d’s definition of good that applies to all people. We know from history that if people make up their own ideas for what is good and moral, this can change, and many people will think about it differently. It is very clear to teachers and policemen that scaring people or threatening them with punishment will not help them to know what is the right thing to do. Instead, people need to be taught that in Heaven it is always seen and heard what we are doing and saying, and G-d can give us a reward for doing good, or give the opposite if we do not-good things.
After the great flood, G-d gave these Seven Laws to Noah and his family, who we all came from. With these laws, Noah and his family knew that people would not ever become wicked again like they were before the great flood. These laws are the basis for morality – we must make courts of law, and we must not believe in idols, or curse G-d, or murder, or have marriages that G-d does not permit, or steal, or eat meat that was taken from a living animal or be cruel to animals. From these rules, and other rules that come from them, we can find out what is the moral thing to do.
Our religious freedom gives us the special opportunity to teach and encourage more people around the world to keep these Seven Laws. By keeping these laws, which are given by G-d’s goodness, all people are united together by this moral responsibility to G-d. This unity increases peace and harmony among all people, and this will bring the greatest good. As King David said, “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.”