Teach Your Children- Rabbi Analia Bortz, Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, Dr. Amy Robertson

Rabbi Analia Bortz of Congregation Or Chadash in Atlanta, GA writes:

1. Carpe Diem, seize the day, life is fragile and short, take advantage of God’s blessings every day.

2. You are the owner of your successes and your failures. God blessed you with the tools to succeed, appreciate them!

3. We give you roots, please spread your wings!


The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, RJE, and proud mother of  Max and Saul

I am a mother of 2 boys, ages 14 & 19.  I have tried to teach my boys how to understand a woman’s perspective and be respectful of their female friends and relatives.  I suppose many of those lessons have come from my husband as well, who has always been a true gentleman.  Though we are all feminists, chivalry is not dead in our household.
I have tried to teach my sons to be strong and stand up for what is right and just in this world.  They both speak up for equal and civil rights for all. They speak out against hatred, bigotry, racism and narrow mindedness.
I suppose one the life lessons I am most proud of having taught my boys is the importance of family.  We have always made decisions based on what is good for our family and model putting family first. While Harry Chapin is a popular source of our musical enjoyment, our family life does not replicate that portrayed in “Cats in the Cradle.” Whether it is for life cycle events, relatives in need, or simple decisions of daily life, our family comes first.
My boys are growing into loving, sensitive, generous openminded young men.  I am very proud to be their mother.
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem



Dr. Amy Robertson, a member of the Jewish Studies faculty at The Davis Academy offers the following:

It’s funny for me to stop and think about what I am trying to teach my children – I am more accustomed to reflecting on what I am learning from this whole motherhood gig (which could fill a volume!). But here is one thing I feel very aware of trying to teach my children:  Having too many things is bad for your soul. Or, at least, that is how I articulate it to my 5 year old. He is in a very acquisitive place — he wants to *have* all kinds of things. This is enormously distressing to me, and I work hard not to make him feel ashamed of wanting them. At the same time, I firmly believe that having too many material things distracts us from what is important – from our friends, our families, our God, the natural world, our thoughts, our responsibilities.  Right now, this probably just feels like arbitrary discipline to him, but I hope that by becoming accustomed to having some boundaries around his acquisitiveness and understanding how to actively fight back that urge (not watching commercials, not walking around the mall, not window shopping), I am setting him up move past this phase. The other day he told me that he chose not to walk around the school book fair browsing after he had already bought the one book we had decided on, because it made him sad to look at all the cool things he couldn’t have. I felt very proud of him for choosing not to feed his desire for more.



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