One thing about living a Jewish life, with a Jewish house, is that they too should be raised Jewish if you have children. Judaism is an ethical tradition that teaches morality, kindness, acceptance, and a host of good attributes that will serve the child for all of their days. The ethics and moral teachings of Judaism will assist parents in raising good young adults, who grow to be productive members of society, and good members of the community. As I learn and grow as a convert, so are my children learning and growing, step by step they take part in every avenue of Jewish life that my wife and I take part in.
During Shabbat and Havdalah, my kids take part in saying the various prayers in Hebrew and in English, as well as they learn various words and phrases in Hebrew, helping them become bi-lingual. They light candles, bless the grape juice/wine, and take part doing each segment in rotation weekly. It really helps to bring the family together to celebrate our weekly Shabbat at home. Aside from that, they often listen to services at our synagogue as we attend Shabbat services weekly, and have begun to love Jewish foods and decor.
We let them ask questions about Judaism and do our best to answer them without reservation or hesitation. Questions can be about the ceremonies, Torah, prayers, G-D, the Shabbat, high holy days, festivals, the menorah, Mezuzah, and just about anything else imaginable. In essence, it forges stronger bonds between us as a family when the kids have questions for us, and in return, we sometimes learn from their questions as well.
We often explain these things to the kids, not to brainwash them, but to give them the knowledge that when they’re older they too can enter into this covenant, community, and the beautiful traditions of the Jewish people. If they choose another path, so be it, but if they desire to walk in the footsteps of their mother and me, they will know exactly what they’re doing and getting into. We teach them these things so that they are mindful of their thoughts, words, and actions, and so they think of others in need. It’s been a journey of discovery and a journey of love through it all, and in all honesty, my family has never been closer!
In my honest opinion, we’ve been touched by Adonai, he has brought to us so much and continues to bring to us closeness and joy. The more we learn and impart in our kids, the more they too are finding a love for Adonai, and this is worth more than gold to us!