I admit that I have never been a very tech- savvy person. I try to keep up with developing trends but there will always be a piece of me that remembers using a rotary phone and having to actually turn a dial on the television. However, as a Jewish parent I am amazed at how many wonderful websites, apps, and such are out there for young Jewish children today.
Choosing to raise your child Jewish isn’t an easy task. Yes, it is a way of life. But there isn’t a manual that Jewish parents are handed that says, “Start here. Complete steps 1-100 and tada! You have a successful, well-rounded mensch”. If only, right? No, it’s far more complicated then that. Between explaining why you live your life differently then mainstream lifestyle and deepening your child’s understanding of their heritage and culture– Jewish parents are constantly busy!
So we begin with the basics. The most basic prayer in Judaism is the Shema. Such a simple prayer and yet it is a pillar of our religion. The Shema proclaims the Oneness of G-d. It proclaims that among all the beautiful, diverse religions in the world, we as Jews, believe that there is one G-d and He is the ruler of all things. The prayer goes as follows:
Sh’ma Yis-ra-eil, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, A-do-nai E-chad.
Hear, O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One.
But how do we teach young children to say the Shema? Yes, for centuries Jewish parents have cradled children in their arms and hummed this soft, prayer over and over until their child was praying alongside them. That is a tradition that I don’t think should ever change. However, for all you iPhone and Apple enthusiasts out there I have some exciting news for you. There is a fantastic Jewish App called Bedtime Shema for Jewish Children. This app is FREE (yes you heard that correctly) and has a gentle child’s voice that teaches young, Jewish children the Shema through a series of colorful, pictures. Your child will go through the bedtime routine in the App before finally covering their eyes while laying in bed and singing along to the Shema. I know my child was thrilled to do this App every single night.
While I love the nostalgia of old-fashioned things, technology can surprise even me sometimes. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs on this very subject. Enjoy this app and have a wonderful day everyone!