MODEH ANI and THE BEDTIME SH’MA

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.*

One of the most precious privileges, and a most treasured memory in my heart, was teaching my daughter to welcome in the first morning light and to say hello to the moon and good night to the day with thankfulness to G-d, her Abba Father.

As a parent I would have loved at that time to have had the following two books. 

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“MODEH ANI”
A GOOD MORNING BOOK

and 

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“THE BEDTIME SH’MA”
A GOOD NIGHT BOOK

both by Sarah Gershman

Modeh Ani is a sweet adaptation of Shacharit, the daily morning prayer service.

The book begins:

Thank you God for waking me from sleep… 

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The gentle pastel illustrations in combination with simple words perfectly convey concepts of the prayers to a young audience. The Sh’ma is included in Hebrew and transliterated. Other excerpts from the Morning Blessings, in both Hebrew and English, are included at the end of the book.

In this world where there is so much rush and hurry, this book can help create a special calmness at the beginning of each new day for both you and your child.

Sarah Gershman wrote Bedtime Sh’ma before Modeh Ani. Both books are illustrated by Kristina Swarner. You’ll find the same soothing pastel illustrations in both books.

Bedtime Sh’ma is an adaptation of Kriat Sh’ma al haMitah, the bedtime Sh’ma.

This very child-friendly book recognizes the vulnerability of children who are at times “scared of the dark.” Staying true to the original Hebrew texts, Gershman does a beautiful job of keeping in mind her young listeners.

I love the last words of the book…

I rest myself in God’s hand. God is with me and I am not afraid.

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As with the Modeh Ani prayer, the Sh’ma is included in Hebrew and transliterated and you will find at the end of the book excerpts from the Bedtime Sh’ma in both Hebrew and English.

And just a reminder to those of us whose children are grown, who are either grandparents now or will be when the blessing of grandchildren comes:

Make them known to your children and your children’s children.**

We all, parents and teachers alike, have a responsibility to the next generation – our children’s children!

~ Cindy

*Deuteronomy 6:7

** Deuteronomy 4:9

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