Though nobody enjoys fasting, I happen to be particularly bad at it. I’m the sort of person who needs to eat every couple of hours, even if just a small amount, and I tend to drink lots of water as…a matter of course. I therefore dread Yom Kippur each year, and that worry has only increased exponentially as I’ve added more kids to the family mix. See, back in the day, Yom Kippur was pretty doable. I’d get up that morning, spend a few hours at services, come home, pass out in bed, and… >> Read More
As a child, I thought my dad could do anything. This was less based in fantasy and instead rooted in years of watching my dad. I have memories of him pouring a sidewalk, taking a ladder into our…attic, building a jungle gym and finishing our entire basement. My dad just seemed to know how to make things, and I loved watching him. At the end of the day, observing my dad provided more bonding and than it did expertise--I’m not exceptionally handy myself. Maybe that’s because I can call my dad and… >> Read More
Here’s the short version of this article. If you leave your kids home on the High Holidays so you can have grownup praying time, bring your kids on Sukkot.
If you bring your kids to the High…Holidays, then bring them back on Sukkot. Sukkot is the best kids holiday. You just might not know it yet. Now the longer version, if you need more convincing. Sukkot is particularly awesome for kids who love building, engineering or arts and crafts (so, most kids). You get to build a sukkah at your home… >> Read More
Tonight is Kol Nidrei, and in the approach to the beginning of Yom Kippur, I have had several people wishing me an easy fast. Automatically, I find myself responding with “G’mar chatimah tova”…and wishing them an easy fast as well. But as I respond this way, I find myself thinking – wait, isn’t the point of fasting to not have it be easy? Part of my feelings about fasting are that having an empty stomach forces you to put aside the pangs of hunger, and focus on… >> 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