Category: problem solving

MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS VS INTERVENING – FINDING THE CORRECT BALANCE…

TORAH PORTION: SHEMOT Sometimes we see things, whether at work or at school, and we know they are wrong.  But the question for us is to decide when to intervene.  We all make decisions regarding when it’s “just not our business” and when it would be wrong not to say something.  But knowing which is which is difficult.  If we see someone helpless being demeaned, it’s important to step in and help out.  Whether acting discreetly or out in the open is a decision we will have to make in each situation. In our Torah parsha this week, Moses...

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SPEAKING SOFTLY…

VA-YIGASH — Young children are impulsive. They can’t really help it. They feel so intensely they blurt out whatever is on their minds, sometimes with love and sometimes in rage. It’s our job as parents to help them translate the intensity of their feelings into appropriate behavior. They might be angry, but they can’t mistreat their brother or sister, friend or parent. They need to find the right words to express what they are going through. They might want something belonging to a friend or sibling, but they can’t just grab it; they must ask for it respectfully. In...

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SELF-ESTEEM…

MI-KETZ —  We naturally want to make life good for our children. We may be uncomfortable seeing them struggle with homework, and we give them a little more help than we should. Deep down we know that, when they complete the task themselves, they’ll feel much better about themselves and will have learned a lot more about the material and their abilities. Joseph was abducted and sold by his brothers into slavery. Years later in this week’s Torah portion, when he has become viceroy to the King of Egypt and wields tremendous power, his brothers come to Egypt from...

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GROWTH THROUGH FORGIVENESS – RECONCILIATION, NOT REVENGE…

MI-KETZ —  All families experience strife at one point or another. There might be a distancing of siblings, a child angry at a parent, or a parent angry at a child. It’s important that we move past this angry distancing toward reconciliation. In this Torah portion Joseph takes revenge on his brothers for throwing him into a pit and selling him into slavery. No wonder. His pain was sufficient to make anyone want to take revenge. When his brothers travel to Egypt to obtain grain for their family in the face of a famine, the brothers have no idea...

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THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL…

VA-YESHEV — Have you been pushed to go to an event that you did not want to attend, and then had a great time? Ever start out disliking a very demanding teacher who later in the year becomes appreciated for making you a much better student? In life many times “things might not be what they seem at first”. This week’s Torah portion, Va-yeshev, contains what might be one of the most famous examples of the idea that things which start off badly might come to a good end. Joseph, the favored youngest son of Jacob, is sold into...

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