Category: family

FAMILY FORGIVENESS…

VAYECHI — We’ve all been offended at one time or another by the words or actions of a family member. Parents, children, spouses and siblings do end up hurting each other, willfully or unintentionally. It is never too early to begin to learn to forgive. By taking ourselves less seriously, it becomes easier to forgive another. When it comes to family, the ability to forgive is crucial. Family is permanent, and having the strength to forgive is rewarding for all. This week’s Torah portion gives a very clear message on the importance of family forgiveness. In the portion we are...

Read More

ACTING WITHOUT THOUGHT…

VAYECHI — When we are angry, our vision narrows and we sometimes act in ways that would shock even ourselves in a better moment. It is hard to maintain perspective when someone or something angers or offends us. But, upon reflection we are able to look back on our actions and make changes for the future. We will not be forgiven for our regrettable actions if we do not make changes in our behavior. In this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi, Jacob is on his deathbed and shares parting words with all of his sons. These are not the blessings you might expect from a dying patriarch. Many of them are...

Read More

EACH FAMILY HAS A MISSION IN THE WORLD…

VAYECHI — Each family has a mission in the world.  With reflection, you could probably write a mission statement for your family.  For  example, parents  might work toward their children growing up to be secure, contributing members of society, ensuring that they have compassion for others and do good in the world.  Everything we do while we are raising our children, large and small, contributes to this overall mission. In our parsha this week, we find Jacob on his deathbed, offering a blessing to each of his sons.  Each blessing includes a vision of that child’s future. For example,...

Read More

HONORING PARENTS…

CHAYE SARAH — In all likelihood, as children we were told to honor our parents. It’s one of those things that parents like, and by now we know why. As parents, we expect our children to listen to and do everything we want them to. In truth, though, honoring parents should not entail giving up one’s own life and dreams. In this week’s Torah portion Abraham’s trusted servant Eliezer approached Rebecca’s father, asking for permission to bring her back as a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. Laban, Rebecca’s brother, in utter disrespect of his father, jumped up and responded...

Read More

RECONCILIATION & FORGIVENESS…

CHAYE SARAH — Obviously, people are not all the same. We feel differently about how neat to keep our rooms, what we eat, and the activities we like. It’s easy to dwell on the differences, but there are many core similarities that we share, and we need to focus on them. Isaac and Ishmael were Abraham’s two sons. They were half-brothers from different mothers and very different in age,  temperament, experiences, mannerisms, and character. Yet this week’s Torah portion, Chaye Sarah, emphasizes that when the time came to bury and mourn for their father Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael did so...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Free 2-Minute Discussion Starters

Testimonials

Rabbi Charles Savenor

Claar’s visionary project is not just an amazing resource for parents, but also for Jewish educators and schools.

Director of Congressional Education, Park Avenue Synagogue

Rabbi Steven Wernick

A wonderfully easy, deeply enriching, and modern tool for families of all ages to share in the timeless tradition of Torah.

CEO United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Glenna Lee

What you are conveying is exactly what I am trying to achieve with my students. It is such a valuable resource.

Educator & Curriculum Writer

Discover More Discussion Starters in Our Book