Kenneth Cohen

Protect Our Children

The classic Chassidic interpretation to the verse that commands us to place judges and policemen in our gates, is pretty well known. The “gates” described in the Torah, refers to the openings in our body.

We are to “police” our eyes so that we do not look at things that are inappropriate. We protect our ears from not listening to evil speech, or things that might pollute our minds. We are to be careful with what we put into our mouths, as that can affect our souls. And we are to be careful with what comes out of our mouths, so that our words do not cause pain to others.

Rabbi Twerski took this explanation as a warning to parents. They must be vigilant in their policing and judging what to allow in their homes. And perhaps to keep an eye on their children as to where they go outside of the house.

Years ago there were studies showing that when children saw numerous violent movies and television programs, it made them more prone to violence.

Today, there are so many things out there, that can mess with a young person’s mind. Parents must first set the example themselves as to how to act in a dignified and consistent manner. This has the biggest influence on their children. But they must also place judges and policemen on their gates, to ensure that their children be protected from the numerous outside negative influences.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at