In honor of Cholent Cookoff 2017 at Shabbos House, I (Mendel) asked the crowd for messages they could think of that can be learned from Cholent (that slow-cooked traditional hot dish for Shabbos Day Lunch) applied to raising children – or from the child’s perspective, about growing up. We got a trickle of responses at first, but the students really got into it, here’s some of what they shared (at least the gist of it):

Time! It takes time… – Mordechai R.

There are a lot of pieces that go into it, there are many components to both a good Cholent and to raising kids. – Seth B.

At first it’s all separate ingredients, but as it cooks together, it all melds and blends and gels together. – Avi S.

You could just throw it all in, but there ought to be a strata to a Cholent, an order to things. Same with child-raising, there are different milestones and appropriate levels to add new things. – Ryan F.

Sometimes it’s calculated and figured out, and planned properly but sometimes you just throw it all in and hope for the best! – Rachel L.

Warmth is key! It won’t go anywhere without warmth! – Raizy R. — and the right degree of warmth matters as well!

The smells change as it progresses. – Elliott W. 

Love! It’s best when done with love… – Manny B. 

Somehow Cholent tastes different every time, even when using the same recipe. It’s not an exact science, and neither is child-raising… – Elana P.

Cholent like Children is an investment in the future. You have to start it before Shabbat to enjoy it a day later on Shabbat. I take care of you now, you take care of me later. – Jonathan K.

As long as you give it your best shot, you can’t really go wrong. Cholent doesn’t have to be perfect, somehow it does its thing and works out, and you never know how it all comes together. But its not an exact science and you can’t beat yourself up for slight variations. – Aliza B. 

Once Shabbat starts, you have to let go. You put into it what you could, now you just have to let go and let it do its thing. – Mendel R.