Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Family Link

Cultivating Creativity at the Shabbat Table

A research study asked 1,500 kindergarten children to come up with many different uses for paper clips, and 98% of children scored in the genius range on this task. When these same children were given the same task at intervals through elementary, middle and high school, their creativity ranking fell remarkably. As we age and become


Seven Steps to Mentschhood

Step #6, Part I

The ways of the Torah are ways of pleasantness and all its pathways are peace. (Mishlei 3:17)

We have learned which behaviors are right and which are wrong and when we must do even more for others than the law requires. We now turn to an even more


Seven Steps to Mentschhood, Step #5 Part 3

Step #5

Part 3

ועשית הישר והטוב בעיני ה׳

“You shall do what is right and what is good in the eyes of Hashem…”

Step # 5 teaches the importance of going beyond the


Addiction Is a Disability

February is Jewish disabilities awareness and inclusion month (JDAIM). Substance abuse and addiction, including alcohol and other drugs and chemicals, is very much a disability and as such, should also be discussed this month.

Lisa Lisser is a Jewish educator working toward a certificate in spiritual


The Moral of the Story

It’s a given that things don’t always go right for an organizer. Sometimes deadlines are missed, service men don’t show up or, God forbid, fragile items chip or break. That’s why professional organizers take out insurance policies. I always want to accentuate the positive, so this column is dedicated to the moments


What Makes Us Jewish?

When I hold my baby granddaughter, I quite naturally break into a round of the Yiddish nursery rhyme Patshe, Patshe Kikelekh. Seeing her delight in the tune, I cannot help but wonder, “When did I become my mother?”

As my daughter-in-law walked through the back door after a couple of


Alcoholism Is a The Family Disease

(Courtesy of Recovery at Crossroads) When speaking to people in long-term recovery from an alcohol-use disorder and their families, you hear the heartbreak of active alcoholism as well as the joy to be found on the road to recovery.

Alcoholism is a disease. Because of its devastating impact on


‘What Can I Do to Help?’

Dana is a 24-year-old woman who is dating seriously. She tells her good friend Arielle about her upcoming plans for engagement. Arielle is concerned that Dana is in an unhealthy relationship. She wants to be supportive but doesn’t know how to help her friend. Arielle wants Dana to know “I’m here for you,” and maintain open


January Is a Time for Reflection

In January we may understandably feel tired of the cold temperatures, the many hours of darkness and, some years more than others, shoveling snow. Yet we may also feel anticipation towards our future as we plan our yeshiva-week vacations, Super Bowl parties or spa retreats. At any rate, January is a time to


Seven Steps to Mentschhood; Step # 5, Part II

“V’asita hayashar v’hatov b’einei Hashem.”

“You shall do what is right and what is good in the eyes of Hashem…”

Last time we learned about the concept of lifnim mishurat hadin, going beyond the letter of the law, or doing the more-than-right thing as


Engaging Children at Your Shabbat Meals

While every family’s meals are unique, the key ingredient to a successful meal (aside from delicious food) is to have all participants feel included and involved, in a warm, relaxed and enjoyable environment. Interactions around the table can include discussion, telling jokes and riddles, singing zemirot, sharing divrei Torah, discussing


What Do Our Kids Really Need?

What do our kids really need? Do they need to go to Harvard? Do they need to have the coolest sneakers? Do they need to be the most popular?

If you’re like me, you probably obsessed over their needing everything, from the best education right down to the coolest sneakers. I mean, can you imagine what

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