The Shema is the crux of monotheism: “Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one.” It’s one of the first prayers our children learn, and we assign it a variety of rituals. We might ask the children to make the Hebrew letter shin (showing 3 fingers) with their hands as they cover their eyes to teach that Shema begins with shin.
When I was 13 years old and celebrating my Bat Mitzvah, somehow it was clear to everyone that I would become a rabbi. As for me? I was a typical teenager, so of course I thought they were completely nuts. Ok, yes, I loved being in the synagogue.
As Duncan and I began our journey into parenthood, we had all sorts of grand notions of the type of parents we would be. Like other parents we know, we swore to each other that we would be the best possible role models.
You know those movies that tell multiple independent stories and then bring them together at the end? There’s a teenage romance, a community golf tournament, and a jewelry store that’s filing for bankruptcy. It’s not until the last third of the movie that you find out the teenage boy’s family owns the jewelry store, and the teenage girl’s grandfather is a retired pro golfer who rescues the other family by buying the jewelry store and turning it into a golf shop.