What does it mean to be Jewish? I ask that question of myself all the time, especially as a parent. It pertains to how I raise my children, how I educate them, and what I expect of them.
With all…of the choices we American Jews have so far as how to express our Jewishness, it can get complicated. I often think about Amedeo Modigliani, the Italian Jewish artist who died in poverty in 1920, who countered the antisemitism he found in post-Dreyfus Affair Paris by proclaiming, to whomever he met: “I am Modigliani. I… >> Read More
I remember the first time my daughter conducted a scientific experiment. It was in the days when I believed that I was in charge because I was the mommy and she was the child, so she had to listen…and behave. I was wrong. For her first scientific foray, she took a plastic bottle, looked at me, smiled, and then tossed it on the ground. I said, “No! No throwing! No making a mess. I bent down, picked it up, placed it firmly in front of her, and waited and watched. At which point, she did… >> Read More
After more than two days of labor, my daughter, our first child, was born. She was tiny–six pounds and three ounces. She was healthy and perfectly formed, even scored a 10 on the Apgar test! Yet…when they handed her to me–clean and swaddled and quiet–I turned to my husband and said, “Well. Having a child seemed like a good idea.” Because, despite what they tell you in fairy tales, love—of all kinds—is not always at first sight. And few things in life are what you are told to expect. Here is what I… >> Read More
Our sages say, “No flour, no Torah.” And so it is with raising children. No food: no peace. A milkshake and a nap – the secret ingredients to family tranquility. Fill their bellies–like God…did for the wandering Israelites in that harsh desert so long ago–and then, maybe, you can talk and reason and enjoy each other. Bring the food on--regularly, quickly, deliciously. Entice them with things they like to eat, things they look forward to eating, and perhaps then a discussion can ensue. Get the family around the… >> Read More