Asher Yisrael, come on, sweetheart. Let’s go. The park.”

The distance from my home to the park is about three minutes, but when walking with my toddler, it can easily take at least thirty minutes to get there. We take a step forward. He stops. He looks around. The birds distract him. He chases after them and screams. Every item on the ground is interesting and needs to be picked up, examined, and occasionally tasted, if I’m not quick enough.

Asher Yisrael, put it down. It’s garbage, sweetheart. Let’s go. Keep walking.”

Getting to the park is always an adventure, and actually I never know how long it could take. For example, if there happens to be a cat in Getting to the park is always an adventurethe way (and here in Jerusalem, that is definitely a common occurrence), the journey from my home to the park could even take thirty-five minutes. And if by chance we see a dog . . . wow, a dog could mean forty-five minutes, at least.

This is what toddlers do. They wander and stray from the path, and our job as parents is to get them back on track. We need to gently remind them of the “destination.”


The bills pile up. A child is having a hard time in school this week. We have a leak in our ceiling, and my husband tells me there are problems with work. Life is stressful. There are so many distractions throughout the week, and I’m having a hard time focusing. Remind me again, what am I doing? What are our goals? Where am I going?

Friday arrives. I stand before the Shabbat candles, and I take a deep breath. The phones are disconnected. My computer is put away. My Remind me again, what am I doing?children surround me and watch me as I light the candles. Peace descends on my home. The Shabbat Bride enters. The Divine Presence (Shechinah), the feminine manifestation of G‑d, is welcomed with song: “Come, Bride . . . Come, Sabbath Queen.” She does Her job, like a mother, to put me back on track. Life’s distractions try to sway me from arriving at my destination, but She comes every week to remind me where I need to go.

We sit and eat together as a family. We talk and we sing. I connect to them; they connect to me. I connect to the Shechinah; She connects to me.

My children sing a Shabbat song:

Because I keep Shabbat, G‑d keeps me. It is a sign for eternity between Him and me.

In our daily life, we have obstacles that prevent us or stall us from getting to where we need to be. But each week we receive a gift, Shabbat. Every week Shabbat comes, bringing abundant blessing and clarity. Like a mother, She gently guides us, putting us back on track to help us reach our destination.

Because I keep Shabbat, G‑d keeps me. It is a sign for eternity between Him and me.