Hayey Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

I officiated at a funeral this week of a man who died somewhere around age 95. No one in the family is exactly sure of his age, but since he’d been celebrating his ninetieth birthday for the past five years, I figure it’s safe to assume that he was close to 95 one way or …

Love Your Children as You Love Yourself

“Perhaps the five words of Biblical advice known to more people than any others are found in the phrase, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” from Chapter nineteen of Leviticus. Of course this is advice more easily given than taken. For how many of us really have the ability to love our neighbors in the first …

Making Ethical Behavior Ordinary

“ There are hundreds of ways to illustrate your values, to show your children by example the kind of adult you want them to become. What you want your children to learn is that we make choices about ethical behavior every single day. It is not something that happens self-consciously, or only under duress. To …

Teaching Your Kids That You Believe In Them

“ If you look back on your life, you will probably acknowledge that it was the little things, the small gestures of support, encouragement and love that meant the most to you. Whether they came from a parent, a colleague at work, a high-school sweetheart or a life companion, these simple, heartfelt reminders of their …

Five Ways to Develop an Ethical-Action Consciousness in Children

“ Everything teaches something. Here are five ways to help your children develop an ethical-action consciousness in their everyday lives. First, be an ethical-action cheerleader, and acknowledge your children’s positive behavior. Few learning experiences are as effective as being caught in the act of doing something right. One of the most important things you can …

Teaching An Attitude Of Gratitude

“A few summers ago we went on a driving trip to the Grand Canyon. I remember one particular day standing near some tourists high up on the edge of the canyon looking down into a deep and beautiful gorge that seemed to stretch on forever. Amidst all the “Oohs,” and “Ahhs,” I overheard one of …

Understanding Moral Development

“The other day I was watching a group of preschool children playing together at my synagogue. At the same time that I was thinking how cute and adorable they were, I realized that I really had no idea exactly what kind of adults these children would grow up to become. I suddenly imagined Buford Furrow …

Teaching Your Children To Teach Themselves

“The best parenting is parenting that leads your children to become their own best teachers and life-guides. In essence it is the art of helping them to develop within an “internal parent” whom they can call upon for guidance, support, encouragement and wisdom for the rest of their lives.

When Life Doesn’t Turn Out the Way You Expected

When Life Doesn’t Turn Out the Way You Expected

In a “Frank and Ernest” cartoon, you see Frank rousing slowly from his sleep, then looking out at the sun coming up. He says dryly, “Well, the sun is rising in the east . . . so far, so good.” There is a beautiful story back in the book of Genesis. Abraham is complaining to …