Take the ‘Shehechiyanu Challenge’
By Laura Seymour

Dear Families,
seymourforweb2It’s Rosh Chodesh Adar — a favorite month of the Jewish year begins today. We get ready for Purim; however, there are so many things to be happy about in the month of Adar and in the whole year.
Having a month that is focused on happiness and joy is a gift, and it was a great idea of our sages to give us a double dose during the “leap” year. But this year we only get one Adar so let’s make it special.
In Judaism, we make things special by reciting blessings. Of all the many blessings, the one we should say the most often is the “Shehechiyanu.” Although traditionally there are very specific times to say it, we can use it whenever we are thankful for a special moment.
One of the new PJ Library Books is “I Say Shehechiyanu” by Joanne Rocklin. This beautiful book reminds us that the blessing is not only for first time happenings but also when something happens again after a long time.
The book takes us through the Jewish year of special things as well as things that are part of everyday life. Those everyday moments can and should be made special — every moment has something sacred to remind us of the gifts of our lives!
Another wonderful “Shehechiyanu” book is an e-book by Rabbi Jamie Korngold, aka Adventure Rabbi. “Kids Can’t Say Shehechiyanu But They Can Feel It” is a short book with pictures of “Shehechiyanu” moments and it is fun having it on your phone or iPad.
Of course, being in the world of apps, we can find anything on our phones. Make your own “Shehechiyanu” book: Take a picture every time you want to capture that moment and put it in a special album. You will have those moments to remind you of the wonders of your days. We can combine the beauty of our tradition with the technology of the day and create sacred space digitally. Perhaps our teens might even get into this habit!
Daily blessings and marking sacred moments is, of course, good for our soul but we know that it is also good for our physical self. Feeling thankful and marking the thankful moment with a blessing enhances the experience. Take the “Shehechiyanu Challenge” — find special moments in your everyday life.
Shalom … from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

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