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Teaching Your Children About God: A Modern Jewish Approach Paperback – December 2, 1994

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Teaching Your Children About God: A Modern Jewish Approach + When Children ask about God: A Guide for Parents Who Don't Always Have All the Answers + Where Is God?
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (December 2, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060976470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060976477
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Convinced that "a spiritual education is as important to a full life as an intellectual and emotional education," Wolpe, a rabbi and the author of In Speech and Silence ( LJ 9/15/92), offers a sensitive and informed guide to explaining God to children from ages four to 14. He asserts that "belief in God affects self-esteem, and searching for God together can help draw a family close." Questions about God come "fast and furious" from young children: questions about who and what God is, what God expects of us, how we can reach God, and why seemingly senseless things happen despite God's existence. While David Heller's Talking to Your Child About God ( LJ 12/88) covers much of the same ground, Wolpe directs himself specifically to Jews and is particularly eloquent in his spiritual insight and explication. Highly recommended.
- Marcia Welsh, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Rabbi Wolpe, who has already established himself as a fine religious thinker in his previous two books, The Healer of Shattered Hearts (1990) and In Speech and in Silence (1992), writes provocatively once more, this time about children and God. Although the context is Jewish, there is much here for any parent who has wondered how to treat a subject that has almost as many pitfalls as the topic of sex. Wolpe knows how tough it is to talk about religion, especially for parents who have had little or no formal religious training themselves. His approach involves listening, questioning, mixing stories and humor. He even offers potential discussion questions at the end of each chapter, although the questions are really as much for the parent to think about as the child. And the questions are the important thing, says Wolpe. Even though families may not come up with definitive answers about life, death, joy, sorrow, and God, posing the queries is the first step on a fascinating journey that parents and children will want to share. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jay3fer on December 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
The wisdom Wolpe offers in this gem of a book transcends Judaism, and really offers creative ways for parents of any religion to open their children's minds (and their own!) to the basic concepts of a loving God who created the world and cares about what we do and what happens to us. It also paves the way for exploration of difficult issues like suffering and unfairness in the world.
Wolpe never gets preachy; rather, he suggests ways to create shared moments with your child not just to teach but to validate his or her views on religion. A child who asks, "Why did God give Moses a speech impediment?" might not need an answer. He might be waiting to tell you, as Wolpe touchingly recounts, "So my sister wouldn't feel so bad" (because of HER speech impediment).
That's the kind of God Wolpe wants kids and adults to share -- a God who cares about us and our feelings, even little girls who stutter. His chapters are at once deeply philosophical and eminently practical. You can tell just by reading this book that Wolpe is a man who knows kids and knows God and sees how naturally the two go hand-in-hand.
Of course, because there's a child in each and every one of us, there is always the possibility that this book can help US re-establish connections to the divine that we haven't felt since childhood. And that, as they say in the credit card ads, is priceless.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JenRink on February 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first became aware of Rabbi Wolpe through his television appearances. He is frequently a commentator on the programs "Ancient Almanac", "Mysteries of the Bible," and other religious programs produced for the Discovery and History Channels. I have always found him remarkably eloquent, insightful, and wise. I checked this book out of my local library after the birth of my first child. Although I am not Jewish, I cannot imagine finding a better resource for how to talk, one day, to my children about God. Beyond that, I found the book to be personally inspiring because, obviously, such a book causes one to reflect on one's own understanding of God, and mine was most definitely enriched. I am sure that I will re-read this book many times for my own personal reflection before I ever consult it for advice on how to answer my child's questions.

In terms of the "Modern Jewish Approach," rituals such as the Sabbath dinner, Passover, Yom Kippur, the bris, etc... are mentioned frequently; stories and anecdotes from the Talmud, Midrash and centuries of Jewish scholars and storytellers are generously sprinkled throughout the book, however there wasn't anything mentioned that I felt I "couldn't use" because I am not Jewish. In fact, I plan to look for more because I found the anecdotes and stories most helpful in explaining complicated, philosophical issues.

Among the issues discussed in the book are: Where does God come from? Did He write a book? Is He a She? Where to look for God? What does God want from us? Why are there different religions? Does God hear our prayers? Why does God permit evil? Why do we die? Is there a heaven and/or hell? Does God still talk to us? And many others I have not listed.

The book is delightfully readable and I would highly recommend it to anyone, parent or not, Jewish or not, who is looking to have their notion of God reinvigorated and challenged.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for anyone who has questions on how to interpret religion for children
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