Week of January 14, 2019 / 8 Shevat 5779 Tefillah Moments Wherever We Are
There’s no question that when we introduced tefillah (prayer) as part of our morning ritual in the PASECC, our first thought was to strengthen the children’s connection to Judaism. At the same time, we know that tefillah can be a mindful moment for everyone, of all ages. Tefillah has a magical effect that slows everything down, brings the classroom community together, and reminds each child that they are present, important, and heard.
Both as educators and as parents, we continually remind ourselves how critical it is to seize these mindful moments. Tefillah gives children freedom to wander through their thoughts and to wonder. The most memorable tefillah times are the ones when children think and then ask questions.
I was fortunate to participate in the Congregational Trip to Israel last month on Track 1, comprised of PAS families with young children. A highlight of the trip for me was when we shared our tefillah or “morning moment” while gathered on a rock overlooking the magnificent crater of Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev. Alongside the vastest landform I had ever seen in my life, we seemed as small as ants, but our spirit and our song felt giant. As we prayed and danced together, we were literally wanderers in the desert, and I found myself wondering, “Could anything be so holy?” I am grateful for this experience and will always remember that moment.
I hope this experience inspires you to find the stillness and silence in the chaos of the everyday. It is important for all of us and essential for our children. When we model appreciation of mindful moments wherever they occur we let our children know that their thoughts and their questions – their wonderings – matter, too.