Wednesday, December 8, 2010

on the day you were born... (Elli turns two)

"The day you were born is the day
G-d decided that the world could
not exist without you."
~Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

I must say... I love birthday parties! (and weddings, baby showers, and all kinds of celebrations).... And as a mom, I love planning my little girl's birthday parties to make her feel special. Although I know in my heart that no matter what, she would be happy, even with a few balloons and a cake, I like to go above and beyond (and hopefully will be able to continue when our family grows). I enjoy making things personalized for her, party favors, games... all of that! No matter how many hours, weeks, or months it takes to complete, after a party I always look forward to the next one! As a rule, I start by picking a theme, and then visit which has loads of creative ideas posted by creative moms, and you can search by age and theme, so that has been a springboard for me to get my creative wheels turning.

treat boxes for the kids

For Elli's second birthday, the theme was: Safari/Jungle Animals, which she was thrilled about because she loves animals of all kinds. I had been wanting to do an animal party probably even before she was born, because I saw the cute things they had at with "zoo animals" on them. That is where I ordered the treat boxes, bubbles, paper binoculars, and inflatable animal beach balls that I gave to the children there. I also found noisemakers and little Jungle Animal coloring book/crayon sets on clearance at Party City.
It has become a family tradition to have an annual "Elli Bingo" game at her parties. At her first birthday party, it was great fun and also a creative way to let people know about the things going on in her life at the time. All of the bingo questions are about the birthday girl, and people shouted out answers so I could say who was right, and then they mark it on their bingo card, which I made by printing out some blank Bingo templates (google it) and writing in the answers in different boxes on each card. I prepared "level two" Bingo for this year's party, but because we had the party in a multi-level house (and it was a big-game football Sunday), it was too difficult to get everyone on the same page and together for the game, but I recommend it. It lets everyone know about the child and it's a lot of fun! We also have a coloring contest (this year's picture featured Elli, which I made and printed at

safari checklist for little ones
For the little ones this year, I made up a "backyard safari," which would have been perfect in Florida, but it was very chilly outside on the day of the party, so we didn't stay out there long! The toddlers loved it though, and they had fun "finding" the play animals and objects that I placed around the backyard while looking through their safari binoculars. The birthday girl, however, was not impressed. I think she was just tired and cold by that point. But all in all, it was fun and a success.

the little ones & mommies on safari (there's a tiger inside the fence)
Elli bingo questions and game sheet
Because our family parties usually involve having a lot of adults and not a lot of little kids, I like to give something to the adults to remember the party, too. This year, my sister-in-law helped me put together these "Safari Snack Mixes" in snack sized zipper bags. I made up a little poem to go along with what was in the bag that went like this:
Safari Snack Mix
Everyone knows that peanuts are loved by elephants;

but in a wild herd they actually eat fruits and plants.
With all those teeth, crocodiles give goldfish quite a bite;
And like these mini Oreos, zebras are black and white!    
Monkeys love all kinds of fruit, like bananas and even raisins;
and African lions eat anything they can catch grazin’. 
Ever wonder what happens when giraffes hug and kiss?
 If they’re not careful, they’ll end up tangled like these pretzel twists.
Today we celebrate Elli’s second birthday, and she loves all animals and crackers; Hope you enjoy this special day as you eat these safari snackers.!

(To be safe, I left out the peanuts and pretzels of the bags that I gave the toddlers. )

The pictures were ordered from which has prints for $.09 each and the safari animal border was free. We stapled the picture and the poem to each side, with the bag in the middle.

everyone got a safari snack mix & picture of Elli
Unlike last year, I decided to decorate the cake myself this year, which was an exciting adventure! With some help from my husband, I made a safari scene on a sheet cake using some plastic trees and rocks from a safari set I bought at Target, animals from the Little People Noah's Ark Playset (which was one of Elli's gifts), a picture of Elli glued onto a safari jeep sticker (from safari sticker scenes from stuck into the cake on a popsicle stick, and some frosting (blue gel for water and chocolate sprinkles for dirt). We were very impressed with how it came out:
close-up of Elli in jeep


The birthday girl was very excited to see the cake for the first time, so I was pleased with my work. I got the "oh wow" from her that I was looking for. (:O) Other than this, the party was typical, with balloons, gifts, and eating lots of food, etc. One more thing that I strive to do is to put together a slide show of pictures from the last year to remind everyone of how much our baby has grown, and that a birthday is meant to celebrate the gift of life. (I'm actually still putting the final touches on this year's slideshow and there wasn't really a way for everyone to see it at the party anyway, but I'll figure it out.)

As our family grows, bizrat HaShem, I can't guarantee that I will be able to keep up with these insanely personal (and time-consuming for preparations) parties, but I will certainly try my best to make each one feel unique and extra special. It is really a pleasure to me, no matter how much work I put into it. Perhaps there's a future for me in planning birthday parties! The most important thing to remember is that birthdays are not about spending money and receiving gifts, but rather celebrating the uniqueness that each child has to offer the world, and that can be celebrated in many, many ways! So have fun with it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

two brothers and twelve sons

Pertaining to Parasha Vayishlach: Gen. 32:4-36:43, Hosea 11:7-12:12, Hebrews 11:11-20
In this parasha, the two brothers (Ya'akov and Esav) are reunited and Ya'akov fathers twelve sons and a daughter. Our character traits this week were GRACE and FORGIVENESS. Esav forgives Ya'akov for his deceitfulness, and Ya'akov praises G-d for His grace to Ya'akov by promising him in Genesis 32 that his descendants will be "as numerous as the grains of sand by the sea, which are so many they can't be counted."
To remember this promise, we played in a "sandbox" (it's really dry oats, but it works!).

We made paper dolls for all of Jacob's children (yeledim shel Ya'akov) and labeled them all by name. Trying to learn all of their names and meanings in Hebrew is great for older children. Some other significant Hebrew words are: "ach" (brother), "achot" (sister), "Yisrael" (wrestles with G-d, or rules with G-d) and "matanah" (gift). Just as Ya'akov gave his brother Esav an elaborate gift, we talked about giving and bought/sent a few friends special gifts (which is great because Hanukkah is almost here!). This parasha also provides an opportunity to review/teach body parts to little ones because Ya'akov's hip was dislocated by the Angel. Because I didn't have much computer access, I simply drew Ya'akov and we labeled some of his body parts. Now my toddler knows where her hips are, and although I did not teach her to do this, she sticks one way out to the side and laughs when I ask her where they are. She's pretty funny!

Other than this, we just continued with our colors (blue) and letters (G), and worked to get back on schedule after all of the birthday excitement and family visits. Still working on that one! :)

dreaming of angels...

Pertaining to Parasha Vayetzei: Gen. 28:10-32:3, Hosea 12:13-14:10, John 1:19-51
We really enjoyed this parasha! One of the coloring pages from is shown above. I found instructions somewhere to make a night scene by brushing watered down black tempera paint over a picture done with crayons because the paint will not stick to wax and allows the colors to show through. I substituted watered down washable finger paint because that is what I had, but the crayon did come through some. It was a cool project to do. We talked a lot about angels and the fact that no one really knows what they look like, but because small children sometimes need visual aids, I basically drew outlines with wings and called them "angels." :) We sang "Shalom Aleichem" an extra time this week in addition to Friday night (Erev Shabbat), which is sung to G-d's ministering angels. We also made a "ladder" out of Popsicle sticks and glued on fabric "angels" to represent Ya'akov's dream of angels on the "ladder"/"staircase" (which in the book of John is called the "Son of Man," but now my little one knows what a ladder is!)

We also made an "angel tube" which was fun until the toddler put a hole through the wax paper angel. The instructions for that are here: Older children might appreciate it a little more.

This is a good time to talk about "standing stones" for remembrance, just as Ya'akov set one up after his dream. We don't have a lot of stones just lying around in Brooklyn, but I thought it would be fun to find and paint one for the purpose of remembering something special by words and/or pictures.

An important part of this parasha was in Genesis 28:22 when Ya'akov vows to give G-d a tenth of everything he receives. It worked out perfectly that our family had already begun a tzedakah box (charity bank), and my daughter had just received birthday money. So she was able, at her tender age, to put some money in the bank "for Yeshua." I look forward to developing and encouraging her gift of giving. Older children can learn to calculate what ten percent is, but for now we are still learning to count to ten!

I also desire to begin teaching new Hebrew words with each parasha, and for this week, "Beit El" (House of G-d) and "Malach" (angel) stood out as important. It is also crucial to teach our children how to develop their character based on Scriptures, and some praiseworthy characteristics this week were GENEROSITY (in giving to others) and SACRIFICE (in giving to G-d, because we can't truly be generous towards G-d because He owns everything. However, He can be generous to us!) This is also a great time to talk about the significance of remembering what G-d does for us. My family has begun a gratitude journal, which I will expound upon in a later entry.

We are also learning the color red and the letter F. It continually amazes me to see how much my newly-two-year-old daughter can absorb and remember. Children are truly sponges, so don't ever worry that you are trying to teach them too much, especially when it comes to Torah. As long as learning is a fun and positive experience for them, teach them until you have nothing left to teach them (and pay attention to what they will teach you along the way!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

double trouble

Pertaining to Parasha Toldot: Gen. 25:19-28:9, Malachi 1:1-2:7, Rom. 9:1-13

For Parasha Toldot, we talked a lot about twins and brothers. We used two "Bible friends" from for Ya'akov and Esav, painting Esav red. My daughter adores babies (in fact, she just received about 5 or 6 new baby dolls for her second birthday!), so she enjoyed looking at baby pictures and searching for twins in magazines, etc. I cut out pictures of twins from the magazines and/or the internet and we glued them on construction paper for a twin collage.

This week we looked at and colored the letter E, looked for words that start with E (like Esav!), and listened to the sounds that E makes on a "Fridge Phonic" Leapfrog magnet toy that my daughter has. This was a special letter because her name also begins with E, and she is learning to recognize it when I spell it aloud for her. We looked for things that are the color purple (which she pronounces a little too similar to "poo poo".) All in all, this parashah was a little complicated for a two year old, but it's never too early to introduce a child to Torah!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yitzchak & Rivkah

Pertaining to Parashah Chayei Sarah:
Gen. 23:1-25:18; 1 Kings 1:1-1:31; Matt. 1:1-17

We had a lot of fun with this parashah. I really like the weekly coloring pages from for each parashah (pictured at left). My daughter loves to color every day, several times a day, so I just tell her a little about the story while I help her color the pages in.

I discovered some really cute and fun to make "Bible friends" here:
They are intended as stand-up dolls, but I made them into magnets for our refrigerator. Magnets will last longer with a toddler too, and she loves them! On the website, you go to "print your own" friends, and then you can print out all kinds of hairstyles, clothes, and accessories for them. These are all Biblical, so the dress is modest and cute, and there are endless possibilities for using these to teach small children. Older children would have fun designing their own as well. I dressed Yitzhak and Rivkah and then allowed Elli to color them with markers. Here are their before and after shots:
Yitzhak & Rikvah

We also used some toy camels and other animals to reenact how Rivkah watered the camels for Avraham's servant. (It's even more fun when you use real water!) Because this is such an amazing and miraculous story of a man being given a wife, it is good to talk about marriage (and arranged marriages with older children), show wedding photos, and dress up as "brides" and "grooms."

We also talked about the letter "D" and looked for the color "yellow." I am amazed that my daughter (who turns two next week) is learning the alphabet song just because I sing it to her fairly often. She has an incredible memory, and we have started leaving the words out of story books and she fills them in as we read. As a first time mom, that is so exciting for me, because I know that soon she will be memorizing the Word of G-d!

Monday, October 25, 2010

the adventures of baby Tot-Tot

 Pertaining to Parashot Lech-Lecha (Gen. 12:1-17:27; Isa. 40:27- 41:16; Romans 4:1-25) and Vayera (Gen. 18:1-22:24; I Kings 4:1-4:37; Luke 1:26-38, 24:36-53)

With us being busy and slightly under the weather, Parashot Lech Lecha and Vayera kind of got squished together into one week. Also, I want to be ahead of the parashah, so this week we started parashah Chayei Sarah.

We made a tent for Avraham, Sarah, Lot & Baby Yitzhak (or as my toddler calls him, baby Tot-Tot). The project is here:
We also made a family tree to show my daughter who her ancestors are. We completed the coloring pages from and talked about camels. Using the tent/characters plus some other little dolls, we "acted out" the visit from the three strangers. I introduced  the letter "C" and the color orange. And then we all got colds... but "cold" starts with "C" so Baruch HaShem! :)

I also discovered "Lego Abraham" on YouTube (, which was too old (and somber) for my little sensitive one, but my husband and I got a kick out of it! It would be great for adventurous little boys, though! It's more Star Wars than Ancient Near East, but it's fun.

felt is my friend

 For all of the mothers (like me) out there who have never learned how to sew, there's hope! I have been very blessed to discover the wonder of felt to make special little things for my daughter without having to sew them. Although I would love to learn to sew one day, for now felt is a very good friend of mine! Probably the first item I made using felt is Rintoo the Tiger (from one of my toddler's faves, Ni Hao, Kai-lan). The directions are here and it actually works for older preschoolers as well for discovering and expressing different emotions by changing Rintoo's facial expressions. For now, he stays happy, but his mouth is attached only by Velcro so that I can add other mouths later.

Cotton balls work great for stuffing felt creations, and I found a strong and durable glue, Aleene's Fabric Fusion, which has passed the toddler test so far. Bean bags are great fun and useful for many activities. I have made two of those so far: a square and a circle. They are different colors and also have on them the numbers "1" and "2" so that they are fun to throw and educational, too. They are filled with barley, and we haven't had any leaks! (Just more evidence that the glue works great!)

My daughter, after seeing a statue in the Poconos, has become quite enthralled with owls. Apparently, she's not the only one because I see them on little girl's things everywhere I go now! My latest project was the owl mommy and baby. My daughter saw a similar owl baby toy in a magazine and loved it. After seeing an owl sampler project using felt in another magazine, I put the two together and made her this.

The possibilities with felt are endless, and I'm sure I will soon be using some in Torah projects and crafts as we study the Parashot.

Felt projects are easy and fun, so enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

tzedakah project

Here is a fun way to start little ones early with giving tzedakah, or money to charity. I mentioned this one in  post before on my other blog, which you can read here:
This one features The Wonder Pets because I found it on NickJr.'s website, but you can also make your own. This one is at:

Any clear container will work. With it being see through, the kids can keep track of their progress. As a family, decide which charity or what purpose you would like this money to serve (and use a smaller container so that it can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time!) If you choose to, you can come up with a kind of reminder to put money in the bank. For example, every time you come home from the store, every time the kids do something thoughtful, or something interesting or unique to your family. Involve the children in the process as much as possible so that they understand this money is to be given away (or spent on something) to bless someone else's life, not their own. It will help them develop their gift of giving, and lead to a lifetime of tzedakah.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a covenant they can see..

Noah's Ark
Pertaining to parashah Noach:
Gen. 6:9- 11:32; Isaiah 54:1-55:1; Matt. 24:36-46

Well, this has been a really fun week with Parasha Noach! There are so many ideas out there for teaching about "Noah's Ark," that it's almost challenging to chose what you will use this time around.

My daughter thinks that being "on the computer" is just the greatest thing, so I found videos pertaining to Noach on If you search for "noah floating zoo" there, you will find these short little videos of Noah and some video montages of different animals set to music. It's definitely for babies and toddlers. The website listed was but I was unable to get on it. I suppose it doesn't exist anymore. My daughter loved the videos and asked to watch them every day!

We also built an ark out of a paper plate (at left) and painted it brown, our color for this week. After it was dry, I filled the ark by serving a snack of animal crackers, goldfish, and teddy grahams inside it. Messy, but worth it. We colored a picture: This website also has a "read together" sheet for Noach. You can find it here: or you can make your own by drawing in pictures in place of some of the words. My daughter enjoyed "reading" this with me.

In addition to talking about Noah and the Ark, we have also talked about rainbows, since they are a sign of the covenant that G-d made with the earth after the Flood. Rainbows are wonderful because they are a covenant that little eyes can see. We glued some colored paper and some cotton balls to a sheet of paper for a rainbow and a cloud, taken from Genesis 9:13, our verse this week. This week is also for introducing the letter "B," so we will find animals that start with "B" on the Ark. 

At there are lesson ideas and even songs to sing about Noah for preschoolers (ages 2-5). The website also offers lessons for older children. We also used toy animals (even in the bathtub, where the "Ark" was a plastic bowl) to learn about this parasha.
There are countless possibilities for teaching this parasha because it has become such a popular portion of Scripture, so have fun with it!
coloring while watching Noah video

start from the beginning...

Pertaining to parashah B'resheet:
Gen. 1:1-6:8; Isaiah 42:5-43:11; Rev. 22: 6-21

Just wanted to share some pictures and notes from our first week of "Torah School." Many of the ideas we used were from, like the coloring pages for the creation story. I added a cover page with the Hebrew and English with our verse for the week, Genesis 1:1, so I could read them both to my daughter each day.

Because she is not even two, we are also learning letters of the alphabet. This week's letter was "A," and I found coloring sheets for each letter at There are also more alphabet sheets at

To teach little ones about the days of creation, I came across a great idea for making creation blocks out of empty tissue boxes (or something similar), but I do not have the "blocks" right now. Perhaps we will save that one for the next Torah cycle! If you are interested, the craft is at You can make your own picture for Shabbat, because this website is not messianic, as you will see.

We are also doing a color a week, and when she gets those down, we will move on to shapes and numbers, etc. At the beginning of the week, I ask her to help me make a color "group." Taking a small container or bowl, (in the same color that we are learning if we have it) we look for things that are that color. For example, this week was "green," so here is our green group. It seems to me that it helps to put green things together, so that she can see what they have in common. I also try to point out things in our parashah that are green, which was easy this time because we talked about G-d creating trees and plants. I assume that every week won't be so easy, though!

I am writing down my ideas in a teacher plan book that I found in the dollar bin at Target last summer. They seem to put those out late each summer with the other stuff for teachers, so keep your eyes open! :) I am planning to get some more next time I see them.

Although I am (trying to) keep it very simple for now, I am certainly very excited to see many other homeschooling blogs and websites for ideas to teach older children! There are so many great resources available! Baruch HaShem!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

my little siddur

cover with google eyes
Being a mom with a small child, I have struggled with making the time to pray throughout the day. So a few nights ago, I had a very late night idea (I call it creative insomnia, as I was trying to go to sleep at the time) to make my (almost) two year old daughter a siddur, so that we can pray together each day. Although it is still "over her head," she will certainly grow to understand it more and more. In going through my own siddur, I chose some important prayers and attempted to simplify them for a child's mind. The full text is below for you to use (and change/add to) for your own children. I added clip art to mine, but it did not paste here on the blog. If you would like me to email you the original word document, just send me an email:

Hebrew from
I used a glue stick (and will probably use some clear tape as well, so that it survives toddlerhood!) to attach the sheets to a blank board book that I ordered from If you have older children, they will probably be more respectful towards a paper book. I printed the siddur on colorful paper to get my daughter's attention, and personalized it with stickers and scrapbook paper to make it more fun and to add interest.  Older children would enjoy decorating their own siddur.

Feel free to change the words to the prayers. I took out a lot of the "Blessed are You" portions because I just thought it best considering a child's attention span. I also added "Yeshua" because this is a messianic children's siddur, and because my daughter loves to hear His name! :) I began using it today with her, although we didn't do the morning prayers very early. I read the afternoon prayers with her while she ate her lunch, because she was already sitting still! Those are quite long and difficult for small children, but they can be further shortened. We already recite the Shema with her before naptime and before bedtime, so tonight we will add the evening prayers and the bedtime shema to her book-reading-before-bed time.

last page, decorated with stickers
I added the special blessings at the end because they seemed very beneficial for small children in learning that G-d created everything, even scary things like thunder and lightning. Hopefully blessing G-d for these things will lessen the fear they may have of them. Also, blessing G-d for the variety in His creation will hopefully lessen the need to draw attention to, dislike, or even tease different or disabled people.

The Shema
I certainly enjoyed making this first siddur for my daughter. As she and I grow together, I pray that this siddur will enable us to share very special times of prayer together. Make one for your little wineskin, too!

*by Joanna Walter

Upon Arising (Modeh Ani)
I gratefully thank You, O living and eternal King,
For You have awakened my soul within me with compassion—
Great is Your faithfulness!

Morning Prayers (Shacharit)
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of HaShem; His praise lasts forever.
Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever.
The Torah that HaShem gave to Moshe is our heritage. I will listen when Abba and Ima discipline me, and I will pay attention when they teach me. HaShem, help me to believe what the Torah says because it is true. I will love HaShem my G-d for giving me life. I long for Your salvation,
O HaShem.
How Good (Mah Tovu)
Your tents are lovely, Ya’akov, and your dwelling places, Israel.
As for me, I will enter Your house because of Your kindness, HaShem.
I will bow towards Your holy sanctuary in awe of You. I love the place where You and Your glory live. I will bow before You because You made me. Hear my prayers, HaShem, and show me Your kindness. Answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

The Morning Blessings
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d, King of the universe, for teaching me the difference between day and night.
Thank You for making me who I am.
Thank You for making me a (boy/girl).
Thank You for my eyes and ears.
Thank You for my clothes.
Thank You for freedom.
Thank You for creating the earth and the seas.
Thank You for giving me everything that I need.
Thank You for my arms and legs.
Thank You for helping me grow big and strong.
Thank You for all the blessings in my life.
Thank You for giving me the strength to get out of bed today.
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d, King of the universe, for opening my eyes and helping me wake up. Help me to study Your Torah and to keep Your commandments. Help me be good to myself and others today. Give me grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see me today. Thank You, HaShem, for Your kindness to me and to Israel.
The Shema
Hear, O Israel
The L-rd our G-d
The L-rd is One.
Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever.

Afternoon Prayers (Minchah)
(Shemoneh Esrei (18 benedictions)- Amidah)
1.Blessed are You, HaShem, our G-d and the G-d of our
forefathers, G-d of Avraham, G-d of Yitzhak,
and G-d of Ya’akov. You are the great, mighty,
awesome, and only G-d. You created everything.
You remember everyone’s kindness, and you have provided
a Redeemer for Your name’s sake, with love.
O King, Helper, Savior, and Shield. Blessed are You,
HaShem, shield of Avraham.
2.You will be mighty forever, my L-rd. You are able
to bring the dead back to life. You are abundantly
able to save. [You make wind and rain.] You are kind to the living, and merciful to sick people. You give us freedom. You are
still faithful to people who have died. There is no one like You, Master
of mighty deeds. No one even comes close! You are the King
who rules over death and life. You provide salvation!

3.You are holy, Your name is holy, and holy ones praise You
every day. Blessed are You, HaShem, the holy G-d.
4.You give wisdom and teach insight to human beings.
You are the gracious giver of wisdom.
5.Keep us close to You, Father, and close to Your Torah.
When we do something wrong, help us to return to You.
6.Forgive us, Father, when we sin and do something wrong.
Thank You for Your forgiveness.
7.Redeem us for Your name’s sake, because You
are a powerful Redeemer. Blessed are You, HaShem,
Redeemer of Israel.
8.Heal us when we are sick, HaShem, and help us
to recover quickly. Thank You for being a faithful
and compassionate Healer.
9.Bless this year for us, HaShem, and send rain for the earth.
10.Sound the great shofar of freedom and raise the
banners to gather Your people from all over the world.
Blessed are You, HaShem, who brings Israel back together.
11.Help people who don’t know you and love You, HaShem.
12.Show compassion to Your people, HaShem. Reward all
people who believe in Your name.
13.Return in love to Your city, Jerusalem, and rest there,
as You said You would. Rebuild it soon, and return the
throne of David to it. Blessed are You, HaShem, the
builder of Jerusalem.
14.Make the offspring of Your servant, David, flourish.
We thank You for Your salvation all day long. Blessed are You,
HaShem, who has given us Yeshua for salvation.
15.Listen to our voice when we pray, HaShem. We know
that You hear our prayers. Thank You for everything
that You will do or give to us.

16.Show favor to Your people, Israel, and restore the Temple.
17.Thank You for everything. We will always thank You
forever. Our lives and souls belong to You.
You do miracles every day. You are good all the time and in
every season. We will thank You every morning, afternoon,
and evening. Your kindness will never end. We can never
say thank You enough!
18.Bring eternal peace to Your people, Israel. You are the
King and Master of all peace. As You make peace
in the heavens, please make peace for us and for all Israel.

Evening Prayers (Maariv)
Blessed are You, HaShem, our G-d,
King of the universe, who speaks and makes
night come. With wisdom, You created the seasons and
put the moon and stars in their places. You created day
and night, and darkness and light. Thank You for
loving us with an eternal love. We are happy
that You have taught us Torah and mitzvot.
We will think about them day and night. Blessed
are You, HaShem, who loves His nation Israel.

Bedtime Shema
Master of the universe, I forgive anyone
who did anything wrong to me today. I also forgive them
 if they only thought about doing something wrong. Help
everyone to also forgive me if I did, or thought about doing,
something wrong today. Forgive me, HaShem. Please
don’t punish me for doing wrong, but help me to do what
is right. Let the words that I say and the thoughts
that I think be pleasing to You, HaShem.
Help me to get a good night’s sleep. Wake me up tomorrow
feeling refreshed. If I have bad dreams, help me to not
be afraid, because I know that You are with me. Open my
eyes again tomorrow so that I can praise You for
another day. Blessed are You, HaShem, who
lights up the whole world with Your Glory!
(recite The Shema)

Special Blessings
For seeing lightning: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, who makes the work of Creation.

For hearing thunder: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, for Your strength and power fill the world!

For seeing a rainbow: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, because You remember Your
covenant and fulfill Your word.

For seeing the ocean: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, who makes the great sea.

For seeing a tree in bloom: Blessed are You, HaShem
Our G-d, King of the universe, for nothing is missing
in Your creation. You created good creatures and good
trees that give people pleasure. 

For seeing very beautiful trees, animals, or people:
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe,
who has made such beauty in His world.

For seeing strange-looking or different animals or people:
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe,
who has made such variety in His world.

For any new season or experience:
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the Universe, who has kept us alive,
sustained us, and brought us to this season.