New Year’s Resolution-Let us make sure this generation does not “drop it.”


The Vase

There is a story about a girl who runs into the kitchen and tells her mother, “Mom, you know that vase in the living room that has been passed down from generation to generation?  Well, this generation just dropped it.” Dear friends, let us make sure in this New Year this generation does not “drop it.”

This Yom Kippur Honor Your Children

Children are deeply spiritual. Remember, their souls, fragments of G‑d, are pretty new to our world. And just as the body needs to be nurtured, the soul also needs to be nurtured.

A student, who recently returned from a Birthright trip to Israel, related this story which changed his life.

As the American students were standing atop Masada, the ancient fortress where thousands of Jews lived for two years in defiance of the Romans and fought them ferociously, the tour guide gave a heartfelt passionate speech. “Here is a place of ultimate Jewish self-sacrifice; Jews remained steadfast and decided never to capitulate. They had red line they would not cross.”

He continued about having red lines in our own personal Judaism and how we are those who have to stand guard to hold strong to our Jewish identity for future generations.

He then stopped, opened his folder and handed each student a letter, one which their own parents had written just a few nights earlier and sent to the tour guide. In the letter, each parent wrote to his/her child about how precious they are, how important their Jewish legacy is, and how important it is to keep it going. The students read the letters and sobbed.

Why did they sob? Did they not get a kiss at the bar mitzvah from mother who said how proud she was? Did they not know that their parents wanted them to continue to live as Jews? They sobbed because this time at Masada, their parents were recognizing their inner voice, for there are few things as powerful for our children as when feeling how their parents impart to them and entrust them with a scared eternal mission, passed from generation to generation.

Write a Letter of Eternity

So here is my suggestion to you today:

Compose such a letter to each of your children. Tell them how much you appreciate them, how thankful you are for having them, talk about how much power and potential they have, explain to them what makes you tick as a Jew and your deepest hopes and aspirations for them as Jews. Explain to them how important, how beautiful and how vital their Jewish legacy is.

Don’t only tell them, you want them to be happy. That is generic for all mankind and even animals. Make them feel special: Tell them specifically, how you feel they can and will nurture a strong identity as Jews. Share with them what type of home you would love them to build once they establish their own family. And bless them from the depth of the heart with the most powerful love.

Then take this letter and give it to your child/ren at that special moment when you bless them right before the holiest night of the year, the Kol Nidrei night. Jews have a custom, that on Yom Kippur eve, before Kol Nidrei all parents bless their children.

The letter may take you 30 minutes to write; the impact will last a lifetime.