Bedtime Shema Book

By Rabbi Ari Moffic


The Bedtime Sh'ma Book Cover From Amazon

Our family’s evening routine consist of dinner, baths and then snuggling on our couch while reading stories. I always end with The Bedtime Sh’ma by Sarah Gershman.

The pictures, illustrated by Kristina Swarner, are amazing. The questions in the text usually bring out interesting tidbits about my kids’ day. Tonight my 4-year-old, Hannah, kept pointing out that the word “may” has all the letters in her teacher’s name which is Amy (she loves this teacher). My 2-year-old, Allie, often runs in and out during story time… but I know that she is internalizing many messages including that we cherish books.

Both of my children have heard the Shema blessing sung so many times that it is a part of them. The sound of the words is their lullaby. They know that the prayer is about how we love each other and how God gives us strength and hope. Singing these 6 words grounds our whole day and sends the kids off to sleep in peace and comfort.

After we read, I walk them up to their beds and kiss them good night. Getting ready for bed, for kids and adults alike, takes some unwinding. For me, the Shema, which is an ancient line from the Torah, is the mantra we use to take that deep breath and let go of the day. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Laila tov… good night!


About Rabbi Ari Moffic

Rabbi Ari Moffic is the Director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago.