Raising a Child with Soul: How Time-Tested Jewish Wisdom Can Shape Your Child's Character

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9780312541965: Raising a Child with Soul: How Time-Tested Jewish Wisdom Can Shape Your Child's Character

With the seemingly insurmountable pressures placed on families today, many parents lack the spiritual foundation and practical knowledge to chart a clear-cut course in child-rearing. Parents question whether nurturing their children's souls is even possible in the fast-paced materialistic culture in which we live. Utilizing the insight that springs from her knowledge of Torah wisdom, her personal experiences and the experiences of those she has counseled, Slovie Jungreis-Wolff, a longtime parenting coach and advisor to young couples and families teaches in detail how to approach the entire gamut of issues, with a special emphasis on strengthening the child's morality and character. Parents will learn how to:
· Instill simchas hachayim, "true joy," in their children
· Value chessed, kindness, in a self-absorbed world
· Create a mikdash me'at, a home filled with calm and reflection
· Teach children gratitude and appreciation
· And much more...
From discipline to sibling rivalry to effective communication skills, Raising a Child with Soul offers unique concepts and pragmatic ideas that can be understood and applied to both Jewish and non-Jewish households.

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About the Author:

Slovie Jungreis-Wolff is a freelance writer and parenting instructor. She is the daughter of Esther Jungreis, renowned rebbitzen, author of Life is a Test, The Committed Marriage, and The Committed Life and founder of Hineni International. Slovie has taught Hineni Young Couples and Parenting classes at the Hineni Heritage Center in New York City for more than ten years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter one

Raising Spiritual Children

Igave birth to my son Eli on the holy day of Shabbos. Mendy and I couldn`t wait to share the excitement with our family. As soon as the Sabbath was over, my parents drove our children to the hospital to see their new baby brother. We marched to the nursery, looking anxiously through the glass window. Bassinets were lined up in even rows, filled with little blankets of pink and blue. The distinct cries of newborns permeated the air. Finally, we spotted our baby. His soft brown eyes were wide-open. My father`s face was aglow with joy. He turned to me and whispered, "This little soul has just arrived from heaven. Our sages teach us that in the heavens above he was learning Torah from the mouths of angels. He came into this world the purest of the pure. Watch over him, Slova Channahlah, and teach him well."

We are given these precious souls, and they are indeed a gift from Above. Parenting is not a simple road. There are many detours and challenges along the way. How do we know which direction to take? How do we know that the path we are leading them on is the best route available? What happens when we lose our way?

I have always been amazed at the amount of planning parents put into the minutest details of their babies` lives. Months before the baby is even born, the baby nurse, nursery colors, the brand of stroller, and even the preschool have all been discussed. As the child grows, so, too, does the List. Swim, karate, ballet, art, French, chess, and tennis lessons from the time they`re tots—all ingredients that spell overload for both parents and children. We strive to give our children the best that we possibly can. We worry that they receive proper nutrition, cultural experiences, and an excellent education. What is most painful to me is the fact that rarely have I heard parents discussing their plan to develop their child`s soul.

We have become so consumed with thoughts of our child being in the right place, with the right crowd, in the right clothing, but what have we done to help this child become a spiritual being—a person of substance and character? The problem becomes even more acute as our world becomes more obsessed with the pursuit of materialism. When was the last time you heard parents discussing their hopes for their child`s moral development? I am afraid that more time is spent researching the type of car we buy than the type of child we hope to raise. We must ask ourselves which qualities we desire for our children. What kind of character traits do we wish to imbue in them?

Each week women are given the unique opportunity to pray for their children. As Jewish women all over the world kindle their Shabbos lights, they utter a plea that has been passed down from mother to daughter for thousands of years. Growing up, I watched my mother encircle the flames with her hands, cover her eyes, and whisper her prayer through her tears. Today, my children observe me each Friday night as I do the same.

I believe that this Sabbath prayer gives us the direction we need when raising our children. We ask G-d: "privilege me to raise children and grandchildren who are wise and understanding, who love G-d, children of truth, holy offspring... who illuminate the world with Torah and good deeds."

I kindle my Sabbath lights and beseech G-d to help me raise children who will contribute goodness to mankind, children who are blessed with kindness, honesty, compassion, love of G-d, and spirituality. I ask that my children discover courage and inner strength in a world that has been overwhelmed with fear and terror. I want so much more than merely polite children—manners is not a complicated subject. I pray for children who will possess a moral compass pointing them in the right path no matter how difficult the situation. In Yiddish, we call such an individual a mensch.

It is true that there are numerous books written by psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of child-rearing. The problem is just that—an overabundance of books! Every few years new theories and ideas are introduced. We are told to discard the old techniques and try the latest new-and-improved approach. What is a parent to do? The beauty behind the Torah path to raising children is the fact that Torah is immutable. It is a constant, neverchanging, eternal truth.

The holy Torah was given to the Jewish people by G-d thousands of years ago. We study that very same Torah today. If you open your heart to its wisdom, you will find solutions for every situation you encounter, a way to approach and live your life. Since family is the center of Jewish life, the Torah is a virtual storehouse of information and knowledge concerning the creation of our home.

Decorating an apartment or renovating a house is easy. It is a far more arduous task to transform that house into a home, a haven of spiritual comfort and serenity. I have visited some incredibly beautiful homes. There were magnificent marble floors, lavish powder rooms, endless arrays of bedrooms, and toys enough for an entire kindergarten. As soon as I entered, though, I felt something was missing. A vital ingredient was absent. I realized that it was a sense of peace acquired by living with a spiritual connection that was absent. We try to provide physical and emotional security, but what about our children`s spiritual security?

BRINGING SPIRITUALITY HOME

In Judaism we are taught that the key to our survival is the strength of our home. The Torah commands us: Veasu li mikdash veshachanti besocham. "They shall make a Sanctuary for Me so that I may dwell among them." Our sages teach us that these words include the understanding that if we build a home enveloped in sanctity, then G-d promises His presence within. We call this unique home a mikdash me`at—a sanctuary in miniature.

Understand that this is not about creating a physical place of worship. You don`t need to build a temple or set up an ark in your living room to discover holiness within your life. It is, instead, a spiritual outlook that encompasses your home and that you take with you wherever you go. The Torah is giving us a personal invitation to embrace holiness in our daily moments of living. It is the way you speak, the way you conduct yourself, the way you relate to your spouse and children as you build your life together. Your entire perception is transformed as sanctity accompanies you throughout your days. It remains embedded deep within your soul.

Children who grow up in a home where the presence of G-d is consistently acknowledged are spiritual children. These families experience genuine warmth and blessing. They develop an awareness of G-d that provides comfort and fortitude even in the face of life`s travails and difficulties. There is no life that is completely shielded from problems and pain. Yet, a child raised in a mikdash me`at sees all of life`s challenges through a spiritual eye.

My family suffered a tremendous blow when my father was diagnosed with cancer. I vividly recall the moment when I heard the news. I had just finished teaching a class at the Hineni Center. As I was walking down the hall, I met my mother climbing up the stairwell. A single tear was rolling down her cheek. Her face was ashen. "What, Ema, what is it?" I asked, my heart pounding. When she told me of the doctors` diagnosis, I felt as if I would crumble. My father was ill? Impossible! Throughout his entire life, I had seen him only full of life and laughter. His six-foot-two frame and broad shoulders easily carried the weight of the world. There was no burden too heavy for him to bear. Whether it was his family or his congregation, his strong yet kindly presence was a constant reminder of his personal faith and courage. After taking leave of my father, you left th

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Slovie Jungreis-Wolff
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ISBN 10: 0312541961 ISBN 13: 9780312541965
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Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Original. Language: English . Brand New Book. With the seemingly insurmountable pressures placed on families today, many parents lack the spiritual foundation and practical knowledge to chart a clear-cut course in child-rearing. Parents question whether nurturing their children s souls is even possible in the fast-paced materialistic culture in which we live. Utilizing the insight that springs from her knowledge of Torah wisdom, her personal experiences and the experiences of those she has counseled, Slovie Jungreis-Wolff, a longtime parenting coach and advisor to young couples and families teaches in detail how to approach the entire gamut of issues, with a special emphasis on strengthening the child s morality and character. Parents will learn how to: - Instill simchas hachayim, true joy, in their children - Value chessed, kindness, in a self-absorbed world - Create a mikdash me at, a home filled with calm and reflection - Teach children gratitude and appreciation - And much more. From discipline to sibling rivalry to effective communication skills, Raising a Child with Soul offers unique concepts and pragmatic ideas that can be understood and applied to both Jewish and non-Jewish households. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780312541965

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Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Original. Language: English . Brand New Book. With the seemingly insurmountable pressures placed on families today, many parents lack the spiritual foundation and practical knowledge to chart a clear-cut course in child-rearing. Parents question whether nurturing their children s souls is even possible in the fast-paced materialistic culture in which we live. Utilizing the insight that springs from her knowledge of Torah wisdom, her personal experiences and the experiences of those she has counseled, Slovie Jungreis-Wolff, a longtime parenting coach and advisor to young couples and families teaches in detail how to approach the entire gamut of issues, with a special emphasis on strengthening the child s morality and character. Parents will learn how to: - Instill simchas hachayim, true joy, in their children - Value chessed, kindness, in a self-absorbed world - Create a mikdash me at, a home filled with calm and reflection - Teach children gratitude and appreciation - And much more. From discipline to sibling rivalry to effective communication skills, Raising a Child with Soul offers unique concepts and pragmatic ideas that can be understood and applied to both Jewish and non-Jewish households. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780312541965

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Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Original. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. With the seemingly insurmountable pressures placed on families today, many parents lack the spiritual foundation and practical knowledge to chart a clear-cut course in child-rearing. Parents question whether nurturing their children s souls is even possible in the fast-paced materialistic culture in which we live. Utilizing the insight that springs from her knowledge of Torah wisdom, her personal experiences and the experiences of those she has counseled, Slovie Jungreis-Wolff, a longtime parenting coach and advisor to young couples and families teaches in detail how to approach the entire gamut of issues, with a special emphasis on strengthening the child s morality and character. Parents will learn how to: - Instill simchas hachayim, true joy, in their children - Value chessed, kindness, in a self-absorbed world - Create a mikdash me at, a home filled with calm and reflection - Teach children gratitude and appreciation - And much more. From discipline to sibling rivalry to effective communication skills, Raising a Child with Soul offers unique concepts and pragmatic ideas that can be understood and applied to both Jewish and non-Jewish households. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780312541965

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