We’ve all seen it, whether you're a parent, an educator, a grandparent, a babysitter, an aunt or an uncle. A child is speeding through a crowded playground and crashes into an unsuspecting child…standing in his path. “Sorry!” he calls back without slowing down. Meanwhile, across the playground, another child is eyeing a friend's shiny tiara. Eventually, she snatches it off her friend's head. Immediately, the friend is in tears, and almost as immediately the grabber’s mother is standing over her demanding she say “Sorry.” “Sorry,” the thief… >> Read More
Can we stop teaching little kids that Yom Kippur is a day for saying “I’m sorry”? That seems to be the big idea that I keep hearing—from smart people! But we can do better.
I know this…might seem counterintuitive. There are lots of children’s books, songs and videos and likely many a children’s service sermon that disagrees. Yom Kippur is a day of repentance, and Jewish tradition teaches that the days leading up to it are for introspection, reflection, and apologies. We take inventory of ourselves and our behavior; we pray,… >> Read More
We could all stand to be more empathetic, more forgiving. None of us are free from being judgmental, or having moments where we hold grudges, no matter how diplomatic we think we are.
In the weeks…leading up to the High Holidays, a period when you recite Selichot, which are special prayers recited during the month preceding Rosh Hashanah, many of us are thinking about ways to be better for those around us--more compassionate, kind, and giving--is especially relevant. This is why we love this Hebrew interpretation of the song "Je Te Pardonne"… >> Read More
A few weeks after Yom Kippur, and just one week before the 2016 presidential election, I am hovering in a pretty constant state of “I am not sorry if I offend you.”
It was triggered by the…latter, but I didn’t actually realize (or, at least, verbalize) that I felt that way until the former. While my daughter was singing in her Reform Jewish day school/synagogue’s choir, I was reading through the greatest Al Chet hits listed in the high holiday prayerbook (and watching her perform, I was totally watching her perform, honest).… >> Read More
It's not unusual for a substitute teacher to get the short end of the teaching stick. What do I mean when I say that? You may remember when you were a student--the moment you heard your teacher was…absent for the day, you rejoiced. It meant you could slack off a little, maybe even joke around with your pals more than usual. This is what happened when a Kveller staff member's son went to school yesterday. The 8-year-old apparently wasn't behaving in class, and was told by the principal to write an apology note… >> Read More