Tag: Children


The Holiness of Every Child

About fifteen years ago, I had an experience that transformed Christmas for me.? My wife and I were sitting with a couple – he was well into his 60’s and Jewish and she a good twenty years younger and from a traditional Christian home. This was his second marriage and they had two young children.? We were guests at their ski home for a few days during winter break. Sitting after dinner at the dining room table, with their kids and our kids playing in the den, we wound up having a......

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What's In A Name? Perhaps A Great Deal!

We all know the expression ‘what’s in a name’. Essentially it means?what something is?called can never fully capture the full meaning of what that something?is.?This saying is particularly true for people,?who are surely more complex than any one name or label that gets slapped on them. ?But there’s still a lot in a name. While true that a person’s identity cannot be reduced to their name,?names?can?matter when it comes to expressing our hopes, dreams, aspirations and expectations. ?Just ask any parent who?has spent countless?hours?choosing a name for?their baby, or people wrestling with......

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Parents Playing Favorites

It’s easy to say that parents should never play favorites.? But if we’re honest, it’s a lot harder in practice. We are all someone’s kid, and many of us are someone’s parent.? In at least one of those roles most of us have experienced favoritism – either showing it, or experiencing it as a sibling.? It’s not that we don’t love all of our kids, or that our parents didn’t love all of theirs. For a moment, let’s assume love is not the issue. ?Sometimes though, we simply mesh better with some......

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In Today's News Cycle, Has the Term 'Bullying' Lost Its Meaning

Brad Lewis took to YouTube and Facebook within hours of burying his son, Jordan, who shot himself in the heart.? “This bullying has to stop,” Lewis said in a seven-minute video. But is it right to blame a suicide on bullying?? Is it really that simple?? Aren’t many more kids bullied than the number of kids who harm themselves?? Has the term lost its impact because it means so many different things? I asked myself these questions after reading the story about Brad and Jordan Lewis, and I even found that I......

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Conversation. It's What's for Dinner.

When was the last time you had really good dinner conversation with family or friends? Conversation that was not interrupted by the many ways our devices have a hold on us: the compelling ping calling us to a text or an email, the insatiable desire to check our Facebook page, tweet a thought, take a photo, or Google anything.? A conversation that was more than just a breezy catch up, one that was spirited and smart and made you think in some new way and become more connected to someone because of......

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Educating For What?

What is education for?? THAT, it seems to me, is the most important question when it comes to the question of education – and one about which we think to little.? Instead, we fight as a nation about our educational system (as if there is one unified system) “slipping” or worse, “falling apart”.? And in the world of religious or cultural education — be it confirmation classes, Bible school, Hebrew school, or private religious schools – there is endless panic about what’s not working, even though there is precious little clarity about......

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The Mixed Emotions of Sending Kids Off to School

My mother still describes how she and my dad took me to the airport in Chicago on the day I left home to complete high school in Israel. She describes returning to the house and heading up to my room on third floor and sitting on my bed as she wept. I still feel mildly annoyed, more than thirty years later, when she tells that anecdote. Having just dropped off our eldest child at college, however (and like so many other moments in my life as a parent), I understand both my......

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Whose Children Are They Anyway?

“It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” It sounds quaint by today standards; my 21-year-old came home at 4:15 the other… morning. But the question of who is responsible for our children remains a serious one, hinted at in the recent controversy over an ad in which MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry argues the U.S. should invest more in public education. America doesn’t invest enough in public education because “we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children,” she says. Harris-Perry laments insufficient appreciation for child-rearing’s communal nature, saying......

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Thinking About 'God the Father' on Father's Day

The notion of God the father (or God as father) can be found in many traditions. Central to many Christian theologies, and often present in Jewish liturgy, the idea invites many possibilities – not all of them necessarily positive, but all especially powerful when we celebrate Father’s Day. I’m not suggesting that people bring Father’s Day cards to church or synagogue in the way that children send letters to Santa at the North Pole. I do however think that – in addition to being a time to focus on how well we......

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