One of my favorite times of each day is my children’s bedtime. I enjoy watching them perform the nightly rituals before bed and then I join them in saying the bedtime Shema prayer. I recently spoke with kindergarten students and their parents at my children’s day school about Jewish bedtime rituals. For the second year, I heard parents tell me about their own enjoyment in tucking their children into bed. It’s a special time for parent-child bonding, so many of them explained. And Judaism recognizes the opportunity for both spirituality and education during these precious few moments before falling fast sleep.
In the old days the White House tried to protect the location of POTUS (that’s the president’s name to insiders). Today, with the 24-7 news cycle people demand to know where the leader of the free world is at all times. The White House posts President Obama’s schedule on its website so people know which lunches he’s speaking at, when he’s welcoming the Super Bowl champs to the White House, when he’s shooting hoops with his buddies and when he’s at a state dinner.
It's the age old question: Is so and so Jewish or not? I'm not talking about the controversial "Who is a Jew" question that gets into matters of lineage. Rather, the dinner party question of whether a celebrity is Jewish or not.
Tisha B'Av, the 25-hour fast day beginning Monday night, is not the most popular holiday on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews let this summer day of commemoration of the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem (as well as other calamities that befell the Jewish people) go by without much attention. However, for the Jewish people who spend part of the night and day in solemn prayer, listening to the dirgeful recitation of Eichah (Lamentations), there is now an impressive Android app to help them follow along with the text.