Sep 25 2012
Ever since elementary school, I’ve hated collective punishment. I remember my teacher explained that she was punishing our whole class to incentivize us to police one another’s behavior in the future. I thought that was nuts. I was mad at my badly behaved classmate, although I didn’t tell him or do anything specific about it, but I felt like I was suffering for no reason; it was about something totally unrelated to me. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 6 2011
The Yom Kippur prayer known as the Vidui, or Confessional, is one in which each Jewish congregation stands up and collectively takes responsibility for its sins. Regardless of whether or not we ourselves have committed a given wrongdoing, we confess to it and thump our chest in contrition. We do so collectively so as to not shame those who have done these things, and to facilitate their admission and recognition of their wrongdoing.
Too often, the prayer is recited as rote – we read the words, but do not feel them. Therefore, I’d like to posit The Parent’s Vidui. These are all based on the traditional translations of the Vidui text, altered to place emphasis on how we treat our kids. You may not have done everything in this list, though certainly each of us is guilty of something.
This is a collective apology, to our community and to our children. We confess and hopefully will turn to a new path of better parenting in the year to come.
Ashamnu – We have trespassed onto our children’s privacy and independence by hovering.
Bagadnu – We have done improper things, and have convinced ourselves that our actions were in our childrens’ best interests.
Gazalnu – We have robbed our children by not giving them our full attention when we are with them. Read the rest of this entry →