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May 27, 2006

Comments

Michelle

I completely agree with Linda. Our kids are only barely one and three but I've started lighting candles every Friday night and having challah and wine with our dinner. It's grown to be habitual already. We're trying to do less and less on Shabbat so that we can set an example for the kids. In time we'll add holidays as they get a little older, but for now, since Shabbat is really the most important thing you can do in a Jewish home, we've decided to embrace that. I think it will become a major part of your lives when you find a community you like. We're still looking.

There are a bunch of terrific Jewish learning sites on the web, too, and I've already learned a lot on the MySpace Jewish forums (MySpace isn't just for teens and creepy predators - there are many adults on there, too).

Linda

I too took my boys to synagogue yesterday. (And spent much of it running around the playrooms eating cookies!)

We found that sending our children to a Jewish preschool increased our religious observance. It means a great deal to us and to our sons (3 & 1) to have a special Shabbat dinner every Friday and celebrate all the holidays.

It helps tremendously to be part of an active Jewish community with loads of other families in similar situations; it makes everything fun and social, which sounds very different than the Jewish community you had growing up.

Good for you for introducing religion to your children!
-Linda

Naomi

Kudos to you for wanting to raise Alex in a faithful manner.

We hope to do the same with our son, to help him feel like being Jewish is a part of who he is, not something that makes him different.

I did have the "jewish education" growing up. Sunday school (although, believe it or not, it was on saturday mornings!!), and the twice weekly hebrew classes after school. But I feel my parents were very hypocritical. They didn't know much about the holidays, and really didn't seem to integrate the values/beliefs/holidays into our daily lives. I grew up resentful of having to go to synagogue, and just hating the entire experience.

Now, years later, I've rediscovered a few things, and have found a comfort level with my Judaism. I'm not religious by any means, but I'm more educated about the holidays, and what things mean. I'm able to pick what works for me, becaues I know more now.

And I won't let my son think I'm a hypocrite...I will put the same expectations on myself as I put on him!

Great post, lots to think about!

Amanda

The mothers that aspire to raise their children in a Godly environment are few and far between these days. Many mothers don't want to take that responsibility, so they let the media, and secular society raise their kids, then later, wonder where they went wrong. It's an amazing responsibility for God to put these precious lives in our hands, and charge us with their training and care. I beleive that the bar has been lowered concerning the expectations society has for our children. It is dangerous to have that attitude, because they are ultimately our future. In this modern world of "ends justifying means", children who are taught to live for God and for others will ultimately change the lives of those around them. I'm a Christian myself, and that is my highest, most worthy goal for my children.

Julie Lundin

Amy, My 3 children are in their 40's and I regret that I failed them in their religious (ethics) education. It became too hard to keep up Sunday school without their father's support. Kudoo's to you for your vision for Alex.

Bonnie Friesen

I feel that keeping the faith is more a matter of believing in our creator, the one who created the universe and who remains a beautiful mystery to all of us. I continue to see too much pain and suffering and wars faught over man-made religion and cultural differences. I strive to remember to be in awe of the beauty and splendor of creation. Your birth and mine and that of our children is truly a miracle. These miracles continue to happen everyday as equal numbers of men and women make war with one another and kill each other over who is right and who is wrong or who owns what and who is superior. It only shows me that there is a 'divine' intelligence and it is obviously greater than our present understanding and awareness. I wonder if you and your family have watched the DVD 'What The Bleep Do We Know'? I believe we are all one big family of God and that this God must be heartbroken to see what we do to one another in the name of religion and culture. I am sure this was not our creators plan to divide us through religious conditioning and keep us warring with one another over cultural beliefs. It breaks my heart. I have faith that there is a universal truth, a silent knowing that we all have that we were created in love and that we are to be a expression of this divine love. Unfortunately, we were also given a free will and look what we are doing with it! Show your children what true unconditional love for yourself and others is and you will be an expression of our creators unconditional love for all humanity and the universe itself. This to me is the highest calling.

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