LECH LECHA — As parents, we are often handling disputes between our children. Isn’t it amazing how each child thinks he or she is justified, correct, and not at fault? Because fighting within a family is very common, our efforts have to focus everyone on the importance of living in peace. Disagreements will happen, and we may feel very justified in our positions, but that doesn’t mean that acrimony must prevail. In this week’s Torah portion, Lech Lecha, Abraham feels forced to asks his nephew Lot to part ways. Lot had accompanied Abraham through many of his travels, but...Read More
Category: problem solving
NOAH — When your computer or smartphone misbehaves, often it just needs a reboot to get going again. At times that may be an extreme step. You may lose work or you don’t quite know what will happen on the restart, so you try some more careful attempts at first. When guiding our children, we also need to make the call between extreme measures and more cautious ones. The account of the Flood is the primary theme of the Torah portion, Noah. Mankind’s behavior had gotten so depraved and immoral that G-d chose the reboot option. Humans were all but obliterated, saving only Noah and his family to...Read More
TORAH PORTION: V-ZOT HABRACHAH We take pictures at happy occasions and we make yearbooks. These are ways in which we try to remember events or experiences. Something in our psyche intuits that there is significance beyond the present moment. It’s this drive that leads us to think about the mark we want to make in this world. Is it one of being selfish or one of fairness and kindness to all? Torah portion V-zot Habrachah contains Moses’s parting words, his last wishes to the Jewish nation. He gives blessings, instructions, and direction. He reminds them of their individual roles as tribes along with their collective mission as a nation. His job as a leader never ends, and near his death he continues to inspire. Think about the messages you would like to be known by. What instructions would you have for yourself, your family, and friends? How do you want to be known? Will your words be uplifting and motivating to yourself and others? We all keep developing, and we can have a profound impact on our world. How is that we want to be known? TALK TO YOUR KIDS about how they could improve in their relationships. CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES: Could you be nicer to your brother or sister?/li>Could you be a better member of your classroom?Do you treat your friends the way you would like to be treated?Do you act respectfully to your parents and grandparents?How does it feel to tell...Read More
BERESHIT — All families have rules. There comes a time in every person’s life when he or she breaks a rule. How we deal with infractions is essential. As parents we need to think about whether consequences are enforced and if we’re consistent. The first portion of the Torah, Genesis, has much to teach us about rule breaking. One of the first things God tells Adam is not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Yet the first story about Adam and Eve together is a story about their breaking this rule. Rule breaking seems to be simply part...Read More
HA-AZINU — We all want our children to listen. There are several kinds of listening that we expect from our children: obedience to what we tell them to do, paying attention generally to what we say, and taking in our criticism. But often children choose not to or can’t listen to what we tell them. All of these different kinds of listening can be difficult for children, whether they simply want to do what they want to do, or because their attention is elsewhere, or finally because it’s hard to hear criticism. Our Torah portion begins with the injunction...Read More
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