Rosh Hashanah is perceived as the Jewish New Year, but it is so much more than that. It is time to reflect on the quality of relationships with friends and family and compare yourself to the way you were a year ago. Rosh Hashanah, according to the tradition, gives you a time to make amends to family and friends.
Use the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah to go through a process of introspection and evaluation with your family, thinking and talking about habitual problems and conflicts that are difficult to change. Seeing other family members, regardless of age, struggle with their problems provides children with a measure of comfort and a dose of reality.
Give your children specific examples to think about as they make their own moral inventory of transgressions. Maybe they didn’t treat a sibling well or didn’t share. Perhaps they lied to a friend or didn’t act with respect toward an elder.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT how they could improve in their relationships.
CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:
- Could you be nicer to your brother or sister?
- Could you be a better member of your classroom?
- Do you treat your friends the way you would like to be treated?
- Do you act respectfully to your parents and grandparents?
- How does it feel to tell someone you are sorry for the way you may have treated him/her?
By Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses
© 2009, 2010 Joyce and Fred Claar
Torah Topics for Today is created to introduce values/ethics through a Jewish lens into family discussions. Visit our site at www.torahtopicstoday.com.