My kids have been showing an unusual interest in the concept of "Torah" lately. And Simchas Torah has taken it to the next level. Freida has been asking heaps of questions about who wrote the first one, is the one in Shul the same, where did we get it from, how do we know it's true and not a story, etc. It's been overwhelming, and completely beyond the limits of my parenting capacity. I just keep praying for the right answers. (Kind of like when she's about to fall asleep in bed at night and she pipes up with "Mom, how do we know we're real and not just in a dream?". Matrix, much?)
In 6th grade I had a wonderful teacher, and she taught us what she said was her favorite song, "The Place Where I Belong" by Abie Rotenberg. I have been letting Freida listen to that song before bed for a while now (since all the curious Torah talk cropped up), and when I went to spend the holidays with my family in Skokie, I scoured my childhood home until I found this old treasure of a story book. The Place Where I Belong, based on the lyrics by Abie Rotenberg, illustrated by Fruma Stern, has kept my children enraptured. We play the song (thank you Spotify), and the girls follow along with the book. Having a visual of a Sofer writing a Torah, a community celebrating it, and honoring it, and passing it through generations - has seemed to sufficiently satisfy a lot of her curiosity about the whole thing. And seeing it hidden away, preserved in a museum, and rescued and restored to a community once again has done much to impart the fact that the Torah is not just an object, but a living way of life. And I'm so grateful that this book and this song were able to help me out in parenting/educating department, I thought I'd pass along the goodness. Can't seem to find the book available anywhere online, and I wonder if perhaps it is out of print? If anyone knows where to find this gem, please let me know so I can update this post with an active link! Thanks!! Here's to having the right answers...!