September 13, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Supporting the family meal

From the Washington Post, Ties That Bind at Mealtime:

The family that prays together stays together, as the saying has it, and perhaps that's true, but prayer isn't the only way to strengthen and enrich family bonds. So, too, as Miriam Weinstein argues in "The Surprising Power of Family Meals," is the simple act of sitting at the same table and breaking bread together. For generations it has been a "basic human ritual," but now "everyday family supper is no longer a given." Pressured by two-career households and soccer-mom-carpooling obligations, to cite two of the many distractions of contemporary life, more and more American families dine not at a common table but separately and/or on the run.

This may reflect inescapable realities of early-21st-century culture, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good thing. Family supper, as Weinstein calls it, isn't just a meal, it's a ritual from which all who participate benefit: "Family supper is important because it gives children reliable access to their parents. It provides anchoring for everyone's day. It emphasizes the importance of the family nonverbally. It reminds the child that the family is there, and that she is part of it."

Of course, we at YudelLine use only the latest in Torah technology to keep everyone on the same page coming Shabbos dinner.

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