70 posts categorized "Children and education"

Peerless Parents

Dream Dad
After years of hearing people's woes about their parents, I concluded five main points that everyone - young and old - would love (or have loved) to see in their parents. Try these and see if you agree:

1. I want my parents to truly care about me.

2. I want my parents to believe in me. That means never to cut me down or belittle me.

3. I want my parents to recognize and appreciate my individuality. That means acknowledging that I have my own strengths and weaknesses and never judging me by comparing me to anyone else.

4. I want my parents to be genuinely interested in how I feel.

5. I want my parents to give me a listening ear.

Isn't it only fair and ethical that we give our children the type of parents that we would have wanted for ourselves? If you really care about your children, you'll want to read 5 Minutes to Super Parenting, my feature article in this week's new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Tree of Life, Now!

Dr. Zev Ballen - Popularity in a Flash

Racheli Reckles - Unbearable

Alizah Teitelbaum - The Bright Side of Darkness

Yehudit Channen - Temptation Bait

Elisheva Burda - Anya - this is such a moving story about a distant cousin of ours from Odessa, and a slap in the face to Holocaust deniers - don't miss it...

David Ben Horin - Divine Representation

Blessings for the loveliest of lovely new weeks!

Emuna Kids


Check out that awesome Manta ray. So incredible, right? 

That's my little nephew in the corner. I'm convinced he's really mine because he has blonde hair and blue eyes and a super Iraqi personality. My sister's other two kids are brunettes with brown eyes (like me) but they're way too nice and calm to be mine. 

But that little boy is MINE. So hand him back, dear sister who used to steal all of my clothes and then leave them crumpled up on the floor of her room. 

Some things you just never get over.

Speaking of my kids, I love my kids. Especially when they're in school or asleep. 

But they drive me insane. Completely. In. Sane. 

Sometimes I fantasize about dropping them off at the nearest zoo or pet adoption center. But since I'm too lazy to return them to the zoo, and I have no idea where the nearest pet adoption center is, they still live at home. For the time being.

Okay, all joking aside, I'd like to share something amazing with you.

My kids are what I would call "Emuna Kids." 

For the past nearly 9 years, they've been exposed to a lot of screaming emuna. I'm far from perfect, like on the other side of the world far, but I am pretty good about bringing Hashem into the picture when relating to my kids. 

If one of them isn't feeling well, or they get hurt, upset, their brother stole their one favorite car out of the 3 million cars that are available to play with, I do my best to:

a) not scream 

b) give them a little boost of spiritual awareness

Okay, so I'm really bad at doing a, and maybe I shouldn't keep emphasizing that, but in my defense I'm awesome at b. 

And because of this, I see how, during some challenging times, suddenly one of my kids might say something on his own about Hashem and His plans. Or something along those lines. 

I make tons and tons of mistakes every day, and I have many shortcomings (please don't tell David,) but I know that the gift of emuna is the greatest gift I can ever give my kids.

I can do my best to give them good health, a good life, a good education, and G-d willing some awesome wives. But I can't control how these situations turn out.

What I can do is give them the faith that everything is in Hashem's Hands and that He loves us and does everything for our best.

I hope one day, when they face challenges that are slightly bigger than "He stole my carrrr!" the emuna and spiritual awareness that I have tried to instill in them will shine. 

Believe me, there is no greater gift we can give our kids than emuna. Imagine if you had known about emuna when you were growing up. How different would your life be? 

How much heartache, pain, and frustration would you not have experienced? 

People, emuna is all we got.

And it's the best thing we can ever give to our children.

So where to start? What if you've never spoken to your kids about Hashem?

I would say start with talking about nature. Point out the wisdom in every flower, the trees, the ocean tides. Talk about the wonder of outer space, the orbits of the planets, the different climates and environments in this beautiful world of ours. 

There are so many opportunities to see Hashem in our lives. Let's share the precious gift of emuna and spiritual awareness with our children.

Have a beautiful day! 

FYI, Rav Brody won't be giving his weekly emuna shiur and live broadcast this week, because he too is an "Emuna Kid" - he's going to visit his Mom in the USA for a few days; she just turned 92 - mazal tov! 


The Special Day for the Parent's Prayer - Today, Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan

LB Brit Of Nachman Reckles
Today (Monday) is the eve of the new month of Sivan, the most opportune day of the year for us to prayer for our children. Our custom is to say the Shla's Prayer ("Shla" is the acronym for "Shnai Luchot Habrit", a classic guide to the service of Hashem). We must pray for the little lambs to become sturdy rams. Don't miss this golden opportunity. You can pray for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And if you don't yet have children, this is an opportune time to ask for children. May Hashem answer all your prayers!

Off-the-Derech Youth

Off the Derech
The most painful problem in the Jewish world today is the "Off the Derech" (off the path, at risk) youth who grew up in "religious" homes yet ultimately forsook observant Judaism. Without the Torah, mitzvoth and especially emuna to protect them, they lose all spiritual strength and are quickly swallowed up in the riptide of assimilation.

My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit”a writes repeatedly in his classic The Garden of Education that education of a child begins with the parent's educating him/herself. Children not only mirror their parents but tend to amplify parental traits. In other words, when a parent makes compromises in Halacha or in any aspect of Jewish observance, children will continue the compromise; like the proverbial snowball at the top of the hill, once it begins rolling downward, it becomes a dangerous avalanche. We know how it starts, but we don't know how it will end…

On the other hand, when parents strengthen themselves in Jewish observance, especially emuna, children will become doubly strong. This is a predominant theme in the Megilla of Esther, as you'll see in The Non-Negotiable Knee, my feature article in this week's Purim issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Gratitude Notebook

Dr. Zev Ballen - The Power of Pretending

Racheli Reckles - The Coffee Snob

Yehudit Channen - Unsettled Settler

Dennis Rosen - No Prayer Left Behind

Lori Steiner - The Power of a Mitzva

Dovber Halevi - War on Pleasure 

Important Notice: Rabbi Shalom Arush can be your shaliach (representative) in fulfilling the mitzvoth of Zecher Machtzit Hashekel (commemoration of the mitzva of giving the half shekel) and Matanot L'evyonim (gifts to the poor) on the day of Purim. Simply Donate to Emuna Outreach during the coming days before Purim and Rabbi Arush will make sure that the money will be distributed on the day of Purim.

Blessings for a fantastic new week and glee-filled Purim preparations!

Hollywood and Our Children's Future

Hollywood and Future
Take a moment to contemplate what kind of future you want. Better yet, contemplate what type of future you'd like for your children. After all, we'll eventually be handing the baton to them...

The whole world in recent weeks has seen the gross repugnance of scandalous behavior. People who have been revered by the whole world because of their money and fame turned out to be below the level of beasts, to put it mildly. America's idols and icons are now part of a lengthy rap-sheet of immorality, which we prefer not to elaborate upon here.

After I updated my esteemed and beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a about the public exposure of the longtime licentiousness in Hollywood, he reacted, "I wonder if the same moral offenders ever took into consideration the profound effect that their conduct and personal deportment has on future generations. What inheritance does the morally-corrupt multi-millionaire think that he is leaving for his children? His bank account? His corporation? Oftentimes he loses them both and there's nothing left but infamy." Bulls-eye...

The financial assets that a father leaves behind are not what affects his offspring. So what does affect future generations?

Rav Shalom Arush's Hollywood and Our Future is a must read for any prospective and current parent. You'll find it in this week's thought-provoking issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also featured this week:

Rav Lazer Brody - Old Charlie the Gatekeeper

Racheli Reckles - The Garden of Gehinom

Dr. Zev Ballen - Connecting to the Tzaddik

Yehudit Channen - Setting the Stage

Sunny Levi - Part-Time God

Dovber Halevi - Why I Love My Life

Special Feature - Kesiah Williams writes about the Breslev Israel - Emuna Outreach trip to Wales this past September, which you can read in Emuna in Wales. The feedback we've been receiving from the trip is remarkable. Many of the participants in our Wales Noahide emuna seminar wrote, "You've changed my life." That's exactly what emuna does - it changes humanity for the better and drastically improves the quality of people's lives. We can't possibly shoulder the prodigious task of spreading emuna around the world on our own. You can be our full partners with full benefit sharing, for Rav Shalom Arush always says, nothing in the world can compare with the power of spreading emuna, which pays tremendous dividends in this world and in the next. With one click, you can begin to make the world a much better place - Donate to Emuna Outreach.

The Prayer Factory

Prayer Factory
Last year, during a convention of the leading educators in the Gerrer cheder (elementary educational - LB) network, the Gerrer Rebbe shlit'a told the participants: "Too bad we don't have a place in Eretz Yisroel where our children can see davening (praying - LB) like in Uman!"

Uman is a prayer factory. Sure, some of the 45,000-plus who make the Rosh Hashana pilgrimage to Rebbe Nachman's gravesite are thrill-seekers and carnival-goers. But to the mainstream of Breslever Chassidim, prayer - especially the High Holiday prayers - is a chance to be with The King. Uman on Rosh Hashana is The King's coronation. Uman therefore leaves a lasting impression on a child's soul, the type that the Gerrer Rebbe wants to engrave on the hearts of all children.

In Uman, you'll find Torah lessons from morning until night. You can hear lectures from Breslev's foremost rabbis and mashpiim, or spiritual guides. There are prayer quorums everywhere, all day long. When people aren't praying prescribed prayers, they're engaged in personal prayer, some in the woods, some down by the river, and many flocked around Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite.

If you're looking for spirituality, for meaning in your Judaism, and for real emuna, then Uman Rosh Hashana is the place for you.

Sure, beloved sisters, it's not easy to spend Rosh Hashana alone with the kids. But if you knew the benefits that you derive by sending your husband to Uman, you'd force him to go.

Consider this your personal invitation to the prayer factory. Rosh Hashana is only 3 days away.