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October 9, 2015 | 26th Tishrei 5776
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Morning Rituals

Wake-Up RitualsCrafting Jewish Tradition for Young Children

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Modeh Ani is the traditional prayer to be said by children. Hold your child in a chair or sit on the bed with them, and share a special moment of closeness before the morning rush begins. Recite Modeh Ani together. For young children, sing or recite the blessing in English and in Hebrew. As they get older, encourage them to join you for the English and then later for the Hebrew.

Modeh ani l’fanecha, melech chai v’kayam,
shehechezarta bi nishmati b’chemlah; rabah emunatecha.

I give thanks to You, O God, eternal and living ruler,
who in mercy has returned my soul to me; great is your faithfulness.

Judaism considers the working of the human body an act of God. Jewish tradition contains a series of prayers with which we can thank God for our bodies. However, the following short prayer is more appropriate for young children. Since cleanliness of the body is considered essential for purity of the spirit, it is appropriate to recite this blessing before washing.

Baruch atah, Adonai, asher yatzar et ha-adam b’chochmah.

We praise You, Eternal God. Thank you for my body. It is a miracle!


Take time in the morning to remember those who worked so that we would have food. Say a blessing as a family.

Baruch atah, Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

We praise you, Eternal God. Thank you for the food you provide for us to eat.


Plan your day. What special activities will occur? What will each of you do to make the world a better place? Help your child plan to perform a mitzvah each day. Will your child help a friend who is hurt? Call a friend who is ill? Give a sandwich to a homeless person?

The mezuzah marks your home as a Jewish home. It is a sign of Jewish commitment. As you leave the house, stop to kiss the mezuzah. Do this by touching the mezuzah with your fingertips, then bringing your fingertips to your mouth and kissing them.


Keep Jewish books in the car for your child to look at. Play Jewish music and sing Jewish songs. Talk to your child about the things they see on the way to child care or school or a play date. Point out the miracles of God’s creation, people in need and people helping, and people acting in moral and just ways.

Resources for Daily Rituals with Your Child

Good Morning, Boker Tov, by Michelle Shapiro Abraham
Good Night, Lilah Tov, by Michelle Shapiro Abraham
The God Around Us, by Mira Pollak Brichto
The God Around Us, Vol. II, by Mira Pollak Brichto

Good morning / good night poster set, illustrated by Selina Alko and suitable for framing. Order from the URJ Press, 212.650.4120.

Good Morning, Good Night: Jewish Children’s Songs for Daytime and Bedtime - available from Transcontinental Music


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