Pay no attention to the woman in the Piggly Wiggly tshirt. Bedtime props from the workshop: Foam letters stick to bathtub walls, and a plush Torah (albeit with a slightly sinister expression to us grownups) can be a Jewish sleep lovey.
I’ve been neglectful of the blog. Please forgive. Deadlines, minor illnesses, major illnesses, and life in general has a way of delaying fun computer time.
But, I have been busy creating a new page for JewishEveryday.com: “Making Bedtime Jewish.” This is the first draft of an online version of a workshop I gave last month. Adding Jewish “content” to our existing bedtime routines can be as easy as adding a particular bedtime book, a toy, a song, a chat. I know some moms are a bit creeped out by the whole God thing, yet still feel strongly about keeping traditions that are nothing if not religious.
For example, the Sh’ma prayer. Several picture books make it ever so easy to add it to the end of the nighttime routine. Some cool Sh’ma songs are out there, too: I love the one by Shira Kline on her Hanukkah CD.
Oh, for the creeped-out moms who do not enjoy reading God storybooks with He He He everywhere (God as a third-person male), it is fairly easy to just say God instead of He. It may sound a bit weird if there are multiple Hes on a page, but it helps. (Oh, and “Godself” for Himself.) Some of the newer picture books circumvent this for us, which is always a lovely surprise.
But wherever we might stand on Religion, per se, making bedtime Jewish is in our best interests in two big ways: it reinforces a kid’s Jewish identity, and it makes bedtime more relaxed and meaningful. We all already have bedtime routines, so by sticking in an overtly Jewish element, we can put the whole after-dinner part of the day into Jewish context. The more Jewish context, the more Jewishly we are raising our kids.
So, give me a holler if you see the new page, and if you have any suggestions. Raising kids is a group effort, and so is raising a helpful website.