Friday, February 19, 2010

Teachable Moments

by EHNTJC Parent Amy Claver

When you teach your child, you teach your child’s child. –The Talmud

I love this Talmudic quote* for its simplicity in summing up what every parent, teacher, rabbi, and anyone who teaches anyone else what all our toil is about. Above all else, we are influencers of the next generation. As a parent, you shape the little people in your home, and how you do this will determine what they do and how they act with others, especially their own children. We will give our children a lot of information over the years, but it is what we do, not what we say that will have the most influence on the kind of people they become.

Next Sunday, we are having a teachable moment at the synagogue. We will come together as a community, little families one by one, congregating together to celebrate and make challah, one of the central symbols of Shabbat, the most sacred time of the week in the Jewish tradition.
There will be a lot of learning going on, how to make challah, how to shape challah, making a special plate for your challah. And above all else, Rabbi Ginsburg will talk about the special significance and importance of challah and Shabbat. It is our hope that this event enriches your understanding and appreciation for the most beautiful gift of Shabbat and you continue (or begin) welcoming and honoring Shabbat at home with your family. It is just possible that your children will share this beautiful gift with their own little people one day.

We will have a brochure at our challah event for you to take home with you. It includes a recipe for challah as well as some of the special Shabbat blessings. Please look at the previous post for a challah recipe that is one of my favorites. It is from Judith B. Fellner’s beautiful book, In the Jewish Tradition, A Year of Food and Festivities. It takes about three hours to make from start to finish, but this rich, eggy challah is well worth it (and makes yummy French toast).
For information on braiding and an explanation of when to say the blessing to separate challah when making the dough, please see
Finally, for a great book on celebrating Shabbat, I highly recommend The Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat by Meredith L. Jacobs. It is a wonderful read and a great guide to all the elements of observing Shabbat at home.

I look forward to seeing you at our challah making event on Sunday!

*The original quote is When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.

Amy Claver is a member of Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation. Daughter, Sarah, age 4 attends the Gan, and son, William, age 6 is a Gan graduate and attends Hebrew School on Saturdays.

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