The Midrash tells how during our time in Mitzraim, Klal Yisroel had stopped performing the mitzvah of Bris Milah. Hashem commanded Moshe and the other leaders of the generation to get all the people to have a bris milah before doing the Korban Pesach and leaving Mitzraim. However, many of the people were uninterested and still did not perform the mitzvah of milah.
When Hashem saw this, He instructed Moshe to begin offering the Korban Pesach and infused it with the smell of Gan Eden. When the people smelled the Korban, and begged to take part in it, at which Moshe answered that the prerequisite for the Korban Pesach is having a Bris Milah. The people happily performed the mitzvah of Milah and took part in the Korban Pesach.
Unfortunately today we often see kids and teens turned off or disconnected. Some more severely, others only regarding certain mitzvoth, their avodas Hashem being lazy. Often we heard the complaint that these kids feel no interest and see no relevance in certain aspects of Avodas Hashem. We must instruct our kids to do the right thing. When this fails, we must lead by example by performing our Avoda and infuse it with “the smell of Gan Eden”. We need to proactively demonstrate how Avodas Hashem enhances our lives, that we benefit daily, minute by minute, from keeping mitzvos and learning torah, and exude a simchas hachaim that permeates our homes. Then, when our children “smell” the fragrance of our Avodas Hashem, they will I”H be inspired to take part as well and will open themselves up to be mekabel even aspects of Avodas Hashem that are difficult, because they will see the ultimate payoff and relevance.
Rabbi Ari Deutscher MSW