Sunday, October 15, 2023

Coping with the War in Israel: A 3 Prong Approach

Israel is engaged in a war with a barbaric enemy. Our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters in Israel. Many of us have increased anxiety and insomnia during this difficult time. How can we help our Israeli brethren while still maintaining our emotional health?

Here is a 3 prong approach:

1. Stay up to date in a healthy way.
2. Maintain your emotional health.
3. Help Israel.

1. Stay up to date in a healthy way. We all want to know the latest news in Israel, but moderation is key; do not keep checking the news throughout the day. Check the news during a specific time, preferably in the morning, or when you get home, but away from bedtime. When checking the news, keep it brief and do not dwell on it. Avoid news sources that feature traumatic videos or images. (Many will benefit by checking the news even less often. In that case, ask a family member or friend to keep you updated when there’s good news or any news you need to know.)

2. Maintain your emotional health. You are better able to help Israel and take care of yourself and your family if you stay emotionally healthy. The number one thing you can do for your emotional health during this time is to limit your exposure to news and other sources of distressing reports from the war. The more anxious you feel, the more you need to set limits to protect your emotional health. Reading and especially viewing upsetting news activates your sympathetic nervous system and puts your body into fight or flight mode. An upregulated nervous system can be life saving when you need to fight an enemy or run away. But chronic activation of the nervous system depletes the body.

It is healthy to spend some time talking and thinking about what is going on in Israel. When you do this, allow yourself to feel your emotions and accept whatever you are feeling. Crying is not a sign of weakness and not crying is not a sign of callousness. The rest of the day, keep busy with productive activities and stay focused on what needs to get done. When you find your mind worrying about what is going on in Israel, say a short tefillah and then bring your focus back to the task at hand.

To the extent you are able, volunteer and get involved in acts of kindness, both locally and for those in Israel. Often during war and trauma, we feel helpless. The side benefit of doing acts of kindness is that you will feel empowered by making a difference in the lives of others.

To replenish your emotional reserves, do activities that reduce stress: exercise regularly, both aerobic and muscle strengthening. Go for daily walks. Walking in nature is especially calming. It is helpful to talk to friends and family about the stresses in your life. Especially those who don’t have sufficient social support, write daily in a journal about your challenges and how you are feeling. Also keep a gratitude journal where you write down a few things each day you are grateful for and why. Try to bring up feelings of gratitude as you write about each one.

Here are two breathing techniques that can help calm the sympathetic nervous system. The first one is called the physiologic sigh. This breathing technique was popularized by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman. It involves two inhales followed by an extended exhale. Take in a regular inhale through the nose and then inhale again to get in even more air. Then slowly exhale through the mouth with a sigh as the air effortlessly leaves your lungs. As you exhale and sigh, allow your body to let go of tension. Throughout the day, whenever you feel stressed or irritable (and may say something you later regret), try 1-3 rounds of this breathing technique.

The second technique is a form of meditation called breath counting. Breathing calmly and easily, mentally count after each exhale, starting from one and going up to ten and then back to one. If you lose count, start again from 1. Do this for 5-20 minutes once or twice a day. The more you meditate, the better you will get at staying focused on your breathing and allowing your body to shift into a state of relaxation and healing. Try this technique for at least 3 days and see if you find it beneficial. 

Key for emotional health is sufficient sleep. Think about what has helped your sleep in the past. Have a winddown routine, e.g., prayer, reading a light book, writing in a journal, listening to calming music, dimming the lights, shutting off your computer and phone, drinking a hot cup of tea/milk or taking a warm bath or shower.

If you still have trouble sleeping, there are other techniques that may be helpful as well as dietary supplements or speaking to your doctor. 

Avoid the trap of self-medicating through food, alcohol and other substances. While they may provide short-term relief, they create additional problems.

There is no shame in asking for help. If you find your emotional health deteriorating or that you are engaging in unhealthy self-soothing behaviors, make an appointment with a mental health professional.

Periodically, check in with yourself and your loved ones. How are you feeling? How are you sleeping? Are you able to stay focused on daily tasks? If any of these are issues, make a plan to address it.

3. Help Israel. We can help materially, politically and spiritually. Materially, donate to organizations that are helping Israelis during this difficult time. Be as generous as you can. Communities are also organizing drives to send items to Israel. If you are active on social media, use that to help educate people about the struggle Israel is facing as well as the worldwide increase in antisemitism. Support Israel politically by contacting your politicians and letting them know that you stand with Israel. An easy way to do that is through AIPAC using the link here

6 ways to help Israel spiritually:

1. Increase your Torah study (find an author or podcast on Jewish thought that you like and read or listen to them daily, even if only for a few minutes).

2. Recite Psalms (there are a number of great English translations to help you understand what you are saying).

3. Look for opportunities to do acts of kindness. For example, call someone up who does not have much social support and see how they are doing, e.g., someone living alone or a single parent. Show you care and be a listening ear.

4. Pick one mitzvah to strengthen your observance of or to start observing, at least for the duration of the war.

5. Be extra careful to avoid gossip (lashon hara).

6. Is there anyone you have mistreated emotionally or financially? Is there anyone from whom you are estranged and bear at least some responsibility for that? Now is the time to reach out and try, when appropriate, to repair the relationship and to make amends for past mistakes.

These are unprecedented times. We cannot allow ourselves to live through this crisis and not be changed by it.

Times of war can help you get your priorities straight; to realize what is truly important in life and what are just distractions. Times of war can help you tap into your talents and abilities to help others and achieve your unique personal greatness.

God wants us to live refined, elevated lives. We saw the barbaric acts of those who are the polar opposite of refined living. That must spur us to live even more elevated lives: more Torah, more prayer, more kindness!

What will you do, at least for the duration of the war, as a merit for the Jewish People?

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

What’s Holding You Back from Living Your Best Life?

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is how can I make the most out of my life?

We all have things we want to achieve in life. The question is will we be successful?

Ultimately that is up to God, but we have to do our part. If you look around you, some people are progressing and achieving goals, while others are not. What separates those who live successful lives from those who do not?

Eight key areas often determine how successful we will be. Underachievers stumble in at least one of them and overachievers excel in many of them.

God gave us talents and abilities and put within us a natural drive to be productive and utilize those talents and abilities, but there are behaviors or mindsets that can get in the way.

8 common reasons people do not succeed:

1 They don’t ask God for help.
2 They don’t set goals.
3 They don’t ask for advice.
4 They don’t enhance their network.
5 They don’t fix their low energy and lack of focus.
6 They don’t believe in themselves.
7 They fear failure.
8 They give up too early.

8 steps to success:

1. Pray. Yes, we have to put in our best effort, but success ultimately comes from God. As King David says in Psalms (127:1), “...If God does not build the house, its builders labor in vain…” Because success comes from God, engaging in shady dealings or mistreating others to try to get ahead, will not help. In the long run it will cause harm. Have faith that with prayer and reasonable efforts, you will achieve your goals. There are two forms of prayer, formal prayer, from the prayer book or Psalms, and informal prayer where you speak to God in your native language. Do both. Each day, thank God for His blessings, tell Him your challenges and ask for His help.

Diagnostic questions: Do you realize that your efforts will not be successful without God’s help? Do you pray to God every day, asking for help?

2. Write down your goals. First write down your vision of what you want to accomplish, it can be for any or all areas of your life: health, career, finances, relationships, communal work and spirituality. Think big and push the envelope of what you think is possible and then ask yourself, “How can I take it even higher, to the next level?” You want your vision to be as big as possible so you do not put a ceiling on what you can achieve. You will be working step by step toward that vision and can achieve great success even if you never fully reach your vision. Spend time visualizing yourself successfully living your vision. After writing down your vision, your destination, write down specific goals you will need to achieve to reach that destination. Now focus on the first goal you will need to do. Keep that goal and the date by which you will complete it, front and center, where you will see it regularly. Schedule into your calendar the specific steps you will need to do to reach that goal by the timeframe you set. Once you complete that goal, start the next one (some goals can be worked on simultaneously). Even challenging goals can be broken down into manageable steps.

If possible, pick someone, a family member, friend, mentor, therapist or life coach, and each week check in with them about what you commit to do during the coming week to move forward on your goal. Every week, discuss how you did the past week in fulfilling your commitments and choose new or the same goals for the coming week.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you find you are not achieving your goals, then cherry pick the most important ones and go full steam ahead on them. Visualize yourself in detail, successfully reaching your goal. Feel the pride and satisfaction you will feel after you achieve your goal. You can pick a reward you will give yourself after you achieve your goal. Set up a daily chart of the activities that will lead you toward your goals to track your progress. It is the activities that you do on a consistent basis, not the one time tasks, that will be the building blocks to your success. Each day, check off on your daily checklist which activities you did. Only keep on your checklist those that you plan to do, not the things that you wish you would do.

If you find that you are not moving forward in the way you would like, contact a life coach. When you are paying someone to help you achieve your goals, your motivation to accomplish those goals as quickly as possible will skyrocket.

Do not live your life on autopilot. Decide what you want to achieve and go get it!

Diagnostic questions: Have you written down your vision of what you want to achieve in life? Have you written down your goals to fulfill that vision and the necessary steps to achieve them? By what date will you take the first step toward achieving your goals? Who will you tell to hold you accountable to your commitment?

3. Seek advice. Speak to people who have achieved similar goals to what you want to achieve or are just wise individuals with life experience. Do what has worked for others. Yes, tailor their advice to your situation and forge your own path, but when you build on the successes of others, you can avoid many of their mistakes. When people don’t ask for help and try to figure it out by themselves, they often make costly rookie errors.

In addition to periodically seeking advice from experts in the field, have a mentor, someone you regularly discuss your goals with who will help you objectively assess how things are going. A common mistake people make is to think that if they keep doing the same thing, eventually it will work out. Years pass and often they are stuck in the same situation. We need someone to help us see what our mistakes are, while there is still time to correct them. It takes effort to find the right mentor. Make a list of possibilities and approach them until you find one who is a good fit. People who are retired or are heading toward retirement often have more time on their hands and are happy to pass on their wisdom.

Diagnostic questions: Who are successful or wise people you can ask for advice? Do you have a mentor? If not, who are some people you can ask to be your mentor and meet with you periodically?

4. Enhance your network. We feed off of the energy of others. When you spend time with positive, successful people, you will realize that they are no different than you, that you too can succeed. If we associate with people who share our values and are working toward achieving their goals, that will have a beneficial influence on us. You may even decide to partner with them on a venture. Widen your circle of friends: attend events and classes and ask friends, mentors or relatives to make introductions. Reconnect to former classmates or people with whom you’ve lost touch.

We will have people in our lives who are underachievers. If they are open to it, be encouraging and share with them what has worked for you. If there are people in your life who doubt your ability to succeed or engage in unhealthy behaviors which bring you down, distance yourself from them and spend time with people who believe in you.

Do not fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others and feeling you fall short. Yes, other people have talents and abilities you don’t have, but so what!? Whatever abilities you don’t have, that is God’s way of telling you that you don’t need them to succeed. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have and what you can’t do. Focus on your current abilities and what you can achieve. You do not need to be the best to succeed; you just need to do your best.

Diagnostic questions: Who are some positive and productive people you can reconnect with or spend more time with? Is there anyone in your life that you need to distance yourself from as they are having a negative impact on you?

5. Enhance your energy and focus. You need energy to achieve. Increase your energy by exercising (aerobic and anaerobic), getting enough sleep and eating healthy. Stress is a major energy drainer, so engage in stress reducing activities, such as meditation and writing in a journal. If you have any physical or emotional issues that are sapping your energy or impairing your ability to focus, now is the time to get that addressed. Reign in any addictive behaviors or time wasters which are distracting you from being successful. Those who frequently veg out in front of their video screens, what they’re really watching is life passing them by.

If you’re wasting time on your phone or computer, when will you live your best life?

There is no better time to get your life together than today. If you choose to do what you need to do to live your best life, you will accomplish great things. 

Start by setting limits on internet use and gaming (install a filter), avoid or at least limit cannabis and alcohol; they reduce your motivation and cognitive abilities and will make it harder for you to succeed. Carve out productive time during your day, where you silence your phone (unless you need to be on call for select callers). During those blocks of time, do not check your phone, email, texts or social media, and remove distractions from your environment. Focus only on your priority tasks. 

God has given you a natural drive and intelligence to overcome your challenges - as long as you do not get in your own way. If you are unable to stop unhealthy or addictive behavior, go to a recommended therapist to help you regain control and get your life back on track. 

Diagnostic questions: How are your energy levels? Are you frequently tired? What will you do about it? Do you have an addictive behavior that is sapping  your time and motivation? What will you do about it? 

6. Believe in yourself. Successful people are not necessarily more talented than those who are not successful, but successful people believe in their ability to achieve. Just that belief alone can make all the difference. Think big. Let go of preconceived limitations. Since God created you, He created you for greatness! You can grow and achieve far beyond where you are today. Less capable people than you have achieved greatness and so can you. Read biographies or articles about people overcoming challenges to achieve success. This will help you believe that you too can be successful. In order to accomplish anything in life, you first have to believe in yourself. With God’s help, you too can be successful!

Successful people focus on their strengths, on what they do well and when possible, delegate the tasks they are less good at. Part of believing in yourself is knowing what you're good at. Develop those strengths and use them to fuel your success.

We all talk to ourselves, we either give ourselves encouragement or we put ourselves down. Stop the negative self-talk; the only thing it accomplishes is to hold you back from living your best life. Be your own coach and encourage yourself to keep going and get up from setbacks. Before you start a task, tell yourself, “I can do this. With God’s help, I will get this done.” If you hit a roadblock, either try again, try a different tactic or ask for advice. But never stop encouraging yourself and believing in your ability to achieve. To help you believe in yourself, pick something you want to achieve and each day spend a few minutes visualizing yourself successfully achieving this goal. Start small, the more goals you achieve, the more you build your self-confidence. Speak to people who believe in you (relatives, mentors etc.) and be strengthened by their encouragement.

Diagnostic questions: Do you believe in your ability to succeed? If you struggle with self-confidence, what can you do to boost it? What are your talents and abilities, what do you do well? How can you spend more time and energy on those activities? How can you take those abilities to the next level and achieve even more?

7. Be ready to fail. If you fear failure, you’ll be afraid to try, and if you don’t try, you won’t succeed. In order to get out of your comfort zone and succeed in life, you need to be ready to fail. No one is successful all the time. In order to have successes, by definition you will need to have failures. If one goes through life without failures, that in itself is a failure; it means they stayed in their comfort zone and did not take full advantage of life’s opportunities. The key is to take judicious risks, so that if needed, you can easily recover and regroup after a setback. Do not take a risk that will take you many months to recover if things don't work out. Taking such risks shows a lack of faith: God can give you success without you needing to engage in risky behavior.

Part of being ready to fail is not caring about rejection or what other people think of you. Do what is right and if people think you are a fool, who cares? As long as you are not a fool in God’s eyes, that’s all that matters. Do not wait for ideal conditions or for you to be fully ready to start a project. You will never feel fully ready. You will experience failures in life, so you might as well get started and get that over with so you can start to experience successes. You only have one life. Now is your chance to make something of it!

Diagnostic questions: Is a fear of failure holding you back from taking judicious risks? Is a fear of rejection or being afraid of what other people will think of you, holding you back? What can you do about it? What is a safe risk you can take to get out of your comfort zone?

8. Be persistent.You will hit roadblocks and have setbacks. That is to be expected. Highly successful people don’t fail less than others, they fail more! They keep failing, until they succeed. They have grit and refuse to give up. They work tenaciously toward their goals. Being persistent does not mean being stubborn and inflexible. Sometimes goals need to be modified, new strategies tried or to shift gears and work toward a different goal. Periodically assess how you are doing in reaching your goals. Are you making progress? If not, what is getting in the way? Ask advice and update your game plan.

Each day, stay focused on doing the most important tasks first, the ones that will help you achieve your goals. Use your time wisely. If you are wasting time or procrastinating, get that addressed. Time is your most valuable commodity. Do not squander it. There is so much to achieve in life! Each day is another opportunity to get closer to your goals. Focus on the activities that will have the greatest impact on your life and on that of others. Focus on your strengths and what you are good at. Delegate or shelve tasks that are not a good use of your time.

Never give up! As long as you are alive, that means God has not given up on you. Pick yourself up after every setback and keep trying until you succeed!

Diagnostic questions: Did you give up too early on a goal or need to pick a more doable goal? What is an area of your life in which you are not seeing success? What are you going to do about it?

Success does not happen overnight. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Some goals take years to accomplish and multiple attempts before you are successful. Savor the mini victories along the way. Compliment and encourage yourself during the journey. As you climb the ladder of success look for ways to help others be successful as well (engaging in cutthroat or unethical tactics doesn’t work in the long run and is a sign of a lack of faith in God). As you progress, stay focused on two tracks: being persistent in working toward your goals and in praying for success. If you do not see success, ask advice: maybe you need to keep forging ahead or change tactics. With God’s help, at the right time, you will succeed.

Once you are successful remember the following:

1. Do not focus only on material success. Also work toward spiritual goals like increasing observance or closeness to God, moving to a community that will afford greater spiritual opportunities, enhancing your health, increasing your Torah learning and communal work, and being a better parent, spouse, child or sibling.

2. Do not let success go to your head. You are no better than those who are less successful. God gives success and He can take it away at any time. Learn from the arrogance and downfall of others to be ethical, generous and humble. Successful people can get sucked in by the allure of materialism, losing sight of what’s truly important in life and chasing after even more money to their spiritual detriment. Ask yourself, “Has material success pulled me away from living my best life, the life God intended for me to live when He blessed me with wealth? If I have veered off course spiritually, what am I going to do to get back on track?”

3. Keep your focus on helping others. Look for ways to use your success to benefit others. Whether helping your family, giving charity, mentoring others, helping people find jobs, getting involved in the community or in an organization. Remember that money is a tool to help us live a spiritual life and not the end goal. If you make material gain to live large your end goal, by definition you are not living your best life. Such a life is a failure and a wasted opportunity. God did not give you blessings just so you should hoard it for yourself. Go out there and share the blessing!

Begin with the first three steps and get started: Pray, write down your goals (find someone to hold you accountable) and ask for advice. Then, as you work toward your goal, add in the other steps: enhance your network, your energy and focus, believe in yourself, be ready to fail and be persistent!

Often, just making a few small daily or weekly changes will have an outsized impact. Soon, with God’s help, you will start seeing results and achieving your goals!

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Audio Class on Chukat-Balak

Dear Friends,

Here is a class I gave on Parshat Chukat-Balak:

Parshat Balak 2020

Have a Shabbat Shalom,


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Monday, June 12, 2023

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Audio on the Parsha

 Dear Friends, 

This is a parsha class I gave during Covid: 

Parshat Behaaloscha 2020

Have a Shabbat Shalom,


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Audio Class: Yitro

Dear Friends,

Here's an audio class I gave on this week's Parsha:

Parshat Yitro 2020

Have a Shabbat Shalom,


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Parshat Bo: Audio Recording

Dear Friends,

Here is a recording of a class I gave on Parshat Bo in 2020.

Parshat Bo 2020

Have a good week, 


Monday, January 2, 2023

Judaism is Not a Spectator Sport: Get off the bench and start living it

There are two types of religious Jews, those who just “observe” Judaism and those who “live” it.

Which type are you?

Growing up, we often started out as observers. We watched what our parents did, we observed how our older siblings acted and we listened to what our teachers said. We then went through the motions and acted as they did. But for Judaism to become part of us, we need to graduate from just observing Judaism to living it.

Many of us know people who left Judaism or whose commitment has considerably weakened. It is unsettling when we hear about someone we know who is now no longer religious. In a moment of panic, we may even wonder about the strength of our own commitment to Judaism. Rest assured, people rarely go overnight from fully committed to abandoning Judaism. For those who are no longer religious, it was often a slow decline, where they had not been “living” Judaism for a while (and maybe never), before they walked away.

It is within the ability of every Jew to live Judaism and find within it the meaning and fulfillment that have sustained our people for thousands of years. When you are living Judaism, as long as you are alive, Judaism is a part of you. As long as your heart is beating, your heart beats with faith in Hashem and His Torah.

How do you start living Judaism? By making it personal. When it’s personal, then your Judaism becomes who you are, an inseparable part of your identity.

Five ways to make Judaism personal:

1. Develop a relationship with a Rabbi or Rebbetzin you respect. We all have ups and downs in our feeling of connection to Judaism, that’s normal. The question is what do we do during times of challenge? Do we allow that to weaken our commitment or do we seek guidance and hold on tight, come what may?

Having a personal connection with a Rabbi or Rebbetzin will help you strengthen your commitment to Judaism. In addition to a personal relationship, there are many online Torah classes where we can learn from authentic teachers from around the world.

2. Read articles and biographies about people who lived Judaism. When you see how Judaism elevated them and enabled them to reach unthinkable heights of spiritual and personal development, you will think to yourself, “I want that too. I also want to grow and live an elevated life, on my level.”

3. Learn Torah that inspires you.
Learn Jewish law so you know how to act and have a Rabbi you ask questions to. In addition, learn daily an aspect of Torah that inspires you, that fires up your soul. The sea of Torah is vast and if you search, you will find areas of Torah that speak to you. It might be the study of Gemara (Daf Yomi, Amud Yomi, Daf Hashavua, Oraysa or an in depth shiur), Tanach, Midrash, Jewish Philosophy, Chassidic thought or another aspect of Torah study. In addition to learning Torah on your own, set up at least a weekly chavrusa with someone who is passionate about Judaism and will be a role model for you (ask people you know, contact the local Kollel or One of the benefits of studying with a chavrusa is that we are often able to put in more effort and toil when we study with someone else. Toiling in Torah, ameilus baTorah, is incredibly purifying and elevating; it will strengthen your connection to Hashem.

4. Have friends who share your values. Have a core group of friends that you respect and are a positive influence on you. Choose a community, a shul and Torah classes where you are with like-minded individuals, people who are also striving to strengthen their relationship with Hashem and their commitment to His Torah. In addition, periodically spend Shabbat or go to a Shabbat meal with people who live Judaism. There you will see firsthand how Judaism is meant to be lived and the clear benefits of living authentic Judaism.

In addition to looking for friends who will be a positive influence, become that friend for someone else. Choose at least one person (more if possible) and if they are open to it, make helping them strengthen their connection to Judaism a personal project. Introduce them to role models of yours, share inspirational articles or lectures, and offer to learn with them or help them find a chavrusa. Invite them over for a Shabbat meal or go with them to one. The Jewish people are one entity, one soul, to truly elevate ourselves, we must do our best to elevate those around us. When we make Judaism personal, it’s yours, and you want to share it with others.

5. Forge a personal relationship with Hashem. It is possible to be an observant Jew and go through the day without thinking about Hashem once! We need to bring focus and intention to our Judaism. Before and during davening, think about Hashem. When fulfilling the mitzvot, think about Hashem. Throughout the day, remind yourself that Hashem is with you, as His presence fills the world. Say a section of the davening slowly, focusing on the meaning of the words, and/or do that when reciting Tehillim daily. Also, get into the habit of speaking daily to Hashem in your native language, often called Hitbodedut, even if only for 5-10 minutes. Do not let a day go without thinking about Hashem. He does not let a day go by without thinking about you.

Part of establishing a personal relationship with Hashem is maintaining our holiness, as Hashem tells us (Vayikra 19:2), “...You shall be holy, because I, Hashem your God, am holy.” To forge a close connection with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, we need to maintain our holiness, as best we can. Vulgar videos, music or websites (use a filter), speaking profanity, dressing or acting inappropriately, degrades one’s holiness and will dampen your connection to Hashem. If one tries the above five ways of making Judaism personal and still does not find their Judaism meaningful, it is often due to a lack of holiness. When one does not guard their holiness, they are like a vessel with holes in it; they are unable to fill up with the sanctity and deep fulfillment that comes with davening, learning and observing the Torah. Work to improve in this area, start with one concrete change, and you will find the above five ways much more effective in making Judaism more meaningful to you.

For those who are raising children, part of your role as a parent is helping your children develop a personal connection to Judaism. You do this in part by working on yourself and being a good role model. In addition, without being pushy and giving appropriate room for individual expression, also help them with the above five ways: Encourage them to forge relationships with Rabbis, Rebbetzins and other role models, buy inspirational biographies and story books for them to read and to read to them. Many have commented that the stories their parents told and read to them growing up had a lifelong impact. Help them find the aspect of Torah that resonates with them at this stage of their life. Learn Torah with them and connect them with someone they can learn with and who will be a role model for them, e.g., someone a few years older than them who is solid in their Judaism, a retiree, or a member of the local kollel. Facilitate them going away for an authentic Shabbos experience or meal (especially if you have relatives that are appropriate), and encourage relationships with the right friends (choose their schools and camps carefully). Help them get into the habit of davening with intention, talking to Hashem, and developing a relationship with Him. Explain to them that as sons and daughters of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, they need to maintain their holiness and avoid certain behaviors, irrespective of how others act. As a parent, set guidelines and limit temptations as best you can (use an internet filter etc). When unsure what is appropriate, consult with your Rabbi or Rebbetzin.

At the core, when you make Judaism personal, you acknowledge that Hashem is your loving Father in Heaven who gave us Judaism for our benefit. When you slip up and do something which distances you from Him, you are pained by the separation; as is your Father. You ask Him for forgiveness and begin anew with a fresh start. You want to restore and even strengthen your relationship with Him. Because from a Father who cares for you deeply and wants to teach you everything you need to know, you never walk away.