The Hanukkah Fairy

By Kelly Banker I am 8 years old. My siblings and I are huddled in my parents’ bedroom, awaiting the precious sound of the Hanukkah bell. We have just come from an evening of lighting the menorah, dancing and singing in a circle and haplessly spinning a dreidel. Now here we are, eyes closed and […]

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Mindful Parenting: Raising a Child with Judaism in Your Interfaith Family

Over the years I’ve enjoyed—and benefited greatly from—the practice of mindfulness meditation. Studying and practicing mindfulness has helped me to be less judgmental (of myself and others), to be more present in the moments that make up my life and to better appreciate the simple beauty in the world around me. Often, when thinking about […]

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“Can we talk?” Can we listen?

“Can we talk?” The late great comedian Joan Rivers had many famous lines, but she was probably better known for these three words than for any others. For many of us, we just have to hear this phrase and Joan comes to mind. Yet perhaps ironically, when Joan Rivers uttered the phrase “Can we talk?” […]

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Singing Songs at an Interfaith Bedtime

At bedtime recently, 5-year-old Laurel was having trouble settling towards sleep, not unsurprising given that it’s still light out at her bedtime. Looking for a change of pace that might help her feel sleepy, I started to sing the Shema, as my husband and I often do during her bedtime songs. She listened quietly, laying her […]

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Teach Them Diligently to Your Children: Confessions of a Peeking Parent

By Jodi S. Rosenfeld The rules are right there in the Shema. You know, in the Ve’ahavta part, where it says: These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you’re sitting in your house, when […]

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Vulnerability of the Heart and Land

The name of this week’s parasha, Ekev, is kind of a hard word to translate precisely into English. Here are 3 renditions of the first phrase (Deuteronomy 7 verse 12): “And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully…” (Jewish Publication Society) “And it shall come about in consequence of your heeding these […]

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Crossing Over To The Other Side

The parasha this week, Va’etchanan (“And He Pleaded”), refers to how Moshe/Moses pleaded with God to cross over into the Promised Land, along with the People of Israel. Interesting how when we look back on incidents in our lives, and we re-tell the story of what happened, some of the more difficult facts have a […]

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My Family’s Bedtime Sh’ma

Several years ago, I never could have predicted that as I tuck my kids in at night I would be singing to them in Hebrew. As a previously

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Singing the Shema

A video of the Shema blessing with Hebrew, transliteration and translation.

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Example of Bedtime Shema

An example of the bedtime Shema prayer.

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