How to Get Children to Work & You Too – Use Positive Motivation

Eavesdropping isn’t good manners – unless you know the others don’t mind. At times you just have to. Mordechai – from Purim – eavesdropped on the conversation of Bigtan & Teresh and then told the kingdom that they were scheming against the king. One night, The King Ahashverosh was read the chronicles of good deeds and rewarded Mordechai. This was one turning points of Purim. Where the wicked Haman fell & Mordechai rose.

So eavesdropping could be good. Eaves dropping on Torah learning is good. Today I did just that.

Negative & Positive Motivation

The rabbi at a different  table was discussing a way of motivating children to do a chore. He made a fine distinction between giving ultimatums to children and motivating. He mentioned that ultimatums aren’t necessarily productive. If you don’t do “A” you will not go to the park to play. The child motivated by negativity is less responsive than one motivated by positivity. The proper way to motivate the child is to say “sure you can go to the park – right after you do “A”. Choose your “A” – clean your room, fold your clothes, do your homework, etc. Now he has a reason to do the job, He wants to go to the park.

A Cure for Procrastination?

Many procrastinate. Many years I tried to break the habit. I found a similar method to break procrastination. There are things I like to do and things I push off. So I make a rule – clean my desk before I check emails. I push off cleaning my desk – but if I know I must do it before I check emails – I am motivated to do clean the desk.

It’s a takeoff of the carrot and the stick – where you place a carrot on a stick before an animal. For the animal to get the carrot – it must walk – but unfortunately it never gets to the carrot. Here we get to eat the carrot. It’s more like putting the carrot 50 yards away on the ground. In order to eat the carrot – the animal must walk to it.

Find your carrot. Place it in front of your act of procrastination. Now move forward.


Let’s Call a Spade a Spade – Don’t Call a Child “It”

Boys will be boys. Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice – that’s what Girls are made of.

The School of Political Correctness

Time to burn your Mother Goose books. Sorry did I say Mother Goose? “Mother” discriminates against the father. I mean Parent Goose.

No “parent” is also derogatory – just because they are older and gave birth to you should we discriminate against children and call them by this name? Let’s call them “adult caretakers”. No. “Adult” is discriminating against children. They should be equals. Let’s call them “older humans”. No that is discriminating. Why should we discriminate against the young. Let’s call them “big humans”. No that is discrimination because you discriminate against the small humans. Let’s call them just “humans”. No that is discriminating against animals. Lets just call humans and animals “it.”

Now that is a solution. Don’t call a president “president”. That is discriminating against those below him. You dare to call a person a principal? How dare you! That means that teachers are inferior. “Teacher?” – what an insult to the students. Please be politically correct. Just call everybody “it” and it will all be fine. “You”? that is discriminating against me. A Manhole? What kind of racism is that – call it a sewer hole. Sewer is a derogatory term – you are insulting the hole. Call it a cleaner thing. The ithole. Now you’re talking.

Manhattan? Let’s be correct and call it ithatten. That’s better. Manchester. Itchester. One small step for man one large leap for Mankind. Please edit that. One small step for it one large leap for itkind.

Parent teacher conference? Sorry. The It It conference. PTA? IIA! “The principal wants to meet with parents and teachers of children who have animals.” G-d forbid. “It wants to meet with its and its of its who have its.” Much better.

I hope you get the point.

Some people want to eliminate the terms “boy” and “girl”, “man” and “woman” – because it might be offensive to others and make them feel uncomfortable. It unlikely might insult this tremendously small part of the population.

Insulting the Many not to insult the minority

What bigger insult than calling a person made in G-d’s image “it”? So should we insult 99.999% of the population – to possibly not insult .001%. Sorry my friend. Doesn’t make sense to me.

But let’s put that point aside.

Calling People Neutral Names Lessens appreciation for others

Calling everybody by a non-gender or a neutral terminology will make people be less appreciated. If I call a principal “it” – it reduces my appreciation for all the work he or she went through to reach this position. If I call a parent “it” – it reduces my appreciation for all the toil they went through to bring up their children. If I call a teacher “it” – it reduces my appreciation for the hard work and sweat and dedication to the students.

If I call a girl or a “pink” an “it” – it reduces my appreciation for her unique qualities and her strengths. If I call a boy “it” or a “blue” – it reduces my appreciation for his unique qualities and his strengths. Calling a person an “it” – equates a person to an object. Women don’t like to be treated as objects. Rightfully so. Why Should children be treated as such?

Judaism says call everyone by their name. Don’t call them nicknames – that may be derogatory and make people feel uncomfortable. Act with Respect towards everyone. Appreciate them as a person. Appreciate their strengths. Be tolerant towards their differences. Call a Boy a Boy and appreciate them. Call a girl a girl and appreciate their uniqueness. Make them feel good by you validating them as a person. Don’t treat them as an object.

Decadence Masquerading as Political Correctness

Many years ago – our forefather Abraham – ridiculed idol worship. People would sacrifice children because they treated their children as objects to satisfy their lust for idolatry. Children should not be sacrificed today – for decadence masquerading as  “political correctness.”

Save Your Children. Appreciate them for who they are.

When Values Backfire or Will Your Children Give You Grandchildren?

In Math class the top student was always first to answer the teacher’s math problems. No one could come close to his quickness in answering the questions. One friend asked him – “How did you become so smart – that you know the answers so quickly?” He replied “Simple – every day I come early to Math Class. I know the teacher will ask questions from the Math Textbook. I look up the answers in our teacher’s Teacher’s edition textbook and I repeat them in class.”

How to win Debates

I usually win ethical and philosophical debates.

Not necessarily because of my debating skills – but because I know which side of the argument to choose. I usually choose the Torah views. Thus I win the argument because I know that the Torah views are the views of G-d. He “thought out” the arguments already – I just have to provide reasons why G-d holds this way. I am like the student that looks up the answer in the Teacher’s Edition textbook.

The Torah is Hash-m’s / G-d’s guidebook. Eventually by choosing Torah views – if you think them out enough you will find out that these are most proper long-term values.

Torah – the Source of Tolerance

The Torah is the source of Tolerance in the world. Recently in last week’s parasha / Torah reading we learn that an evil gentile prophet – Bilaam is hired by King Balak to curse [sonai] Israel. He rides on a donkey. The Donkey veers off the path, crushes his foot into a wall and then stops at a narrow passageway.

Bilaam hits the donkey and the donkey starts to talk.

The ass said to Balaam, “Look, I am the ass that you have been riding all along until this day! Have I been in the habit of doing thus to you?” And he answered, “No.” [Bamidbar / Numbers 22:30]

After the conversation – where Bilaam couldn’t respond to his donkey – G-d sends an Angel to kill it. Why? So that people will not mock Bilaam saying “Look there is the donkey that Bilaam could not answer.” The obvious question is why? He was wicked – don’t we have the right to disrespect him?

The answer – no matter how wicked a person may be – we must act respectfully. That is called Tolerance.

This teaches regardless of how wicked a person is, we must act as we would respect another human being. In the end a person was created in the image of G-d. Pharaoh bathed in the blood of Jewish children, yet Moshe / Moses acted with the utmost respect towards him – as he would a normal king.

Respecting the honor of a person does not mean we must accept his or her values. This does not mean that we have to condone his actions. This does not mean that we have to accept his or her values.

In the case of a thief caught steeling old ladies purses – we must act with respect towards the thief but nevertheless bring them to justice. To condone the act of thievery would be called decadence.

It is popular today to adopt the values of other people because you don’t want to be racist. But this is the exact definition of decadence.

The Difference between Tolerance and  Decadence

Decadence is moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury. (as defined by google). The key word is decline.

Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

What society describes as tolerance – for example, as in the case of same gender marriage – is actually decadence. The society passes off decadence as tolerance. It is doing a very good job because many people fall into the trap. Tolerance is not decadence and vice versa.

What’s Wrong with Accepting the Lifestyle of Immorality

The parents who say they accept same gender marriage – end up at times with children who pursue a same gender relationship. Because of this – their children do not have children. Their values with which they raised their children turn against them. They end up with no grandchildren because their children pursued the values – ie, same gender marriage – that the parents condoned.

Thus one must choose their values wisely. One who raises children with Torah values – their children realize the importance to get married, raise a family, help society, live peacefully, do good to others, raise children and live a wholesome life. They pursue a life of positive relations with G-d, Family, Society, Friends and themselves.

Suffering Singles – Ending the Endless Dating Game

I usually have answers to problems.

Through dealing with my own personal sufferings, I learned techniques to solve personal problems.

Apparently because of the effect of my father’s jewelry business that experienced hard times, I also learned to solve business problems.

My mind goes to problem solving mode when I hear of a problem.

The first step in solving a problem is to define the problem.

Ask – “what is the problem?”

One problem in today’s society is many singles stay single and don’t get married.

Some may say that it is not a problem – but according to Torah Jews and gentiles have a Mitzvah to have children.

Also – for the ultimate good of society – it is a necessary good for people to help populate the world. If people did not have children, after one generation, theoretically the population would go to zero. No more new generations – One of the problems of  homosexuality and complete celibacy.

Nowadays, even among religious Jews – many find themselves single.

It baffles me what the basic cause of the problem. The cause of the large single population eludes me. Once the cause of the problem is found it is easier to find the solution. Below are questions for person in the non-married state may ask to help them tie the knot with a worthwhile mate.

Apparently being single is a source of suffering among many singles. Apparently, people want to settle down and found a family. I remember once my cousin mentioned that she went on many dates. Before I started dating seriously – with the intention of getting married – I thought that was a good thing. But then when I was in the dating scene I found that being in a state of doubt is a source of suffering.

So here are some of my thoughts for singles – based upon experience, logic and Torah.

What questions should you ask yourself?

What am I looking for?

These are the qualities that I find to be most important.

  1. Torah Values – someone that has a mentality that wants to bring up a family with Torah values. One that will put their children in a Torah day school.
  2. Good Middot / Character Traits – kind, positive, understanding, calm
  3. Good heart – one that is giving and not stingy.
  4. Responsible – that will
  5. Mentally stable – one that has no psychological issues
  6. Good family – the apple falls not far from the tree.
  7. Put together – dresses, acts and looks clean
  8. Attractive – but not attracting. She or he should be attractive to the the other party. The person should not be repulsive in the eyes of the other.

Why is 1 number one.Torah values of the mates is extremely important – because it sets up a common mentality between the couple. Also it is the best way to have respectful children, that will value being kind and also give you grandchildren. Jews marry Jews because it is a Torah law to have children that are Jewish that will uphold the values of the Torah and not serve idols or other gods.

Gentiles marry gentiles to commonly uphold the Torah’s seven noahide laws for all humanity with the family.

Sorting out the priorities – what is primary and secondary?

I heard many different requirements for a mate – a good singer, fun to be with, one who likes to go out. Apparently – many of the things singles demand are secondary. What good is finding a mate that loves to do outdoor activities  but is a tyrant, or is controlling or doesn’t want to have children.

What does G-d want?

If you  want to know what G-d wants – he wants you to raise a family that will follow the laws of the Torah. Simple. When one follows what G-d wants – one gains because it also turns out the best for the person and the family. Children enrolled in Torah day schools will likely be more respectful to parents  and will likely get married and give you grandchildren and help the continuity of Jewish nation – for they will likely marry Jewish.

What is your fear?

A person I know was turned off by marriage because out of 15 of his friends that married a great majority got divorced. That’s one fear.

I have another friend whose parents don’t get along. Is that the source of his fear?

Another fear is commitment.

Another is the fear of the partner’s spending habits. Some don’t want their partner to spend their money away.

OK. That’s your fear? Is it worth it to stay alone the rest of your life for any of the above? to me, no.

So deal with your fear – get out of your preconceived notions – pray to Hash-m that you will find a mate that will not realize your fears.

Also put stack the cards towards your advantage – look for someone that is reasonable, stable, non-temperamental and not controlling.

Is it you or them?

I asked someone – when they date is it usually you or the partner that breaks the relationship?

If you see yourself rejecting many people – perhaps you have to re-frame your priorities.

If others are rejecting you – perhaps you need to improve your look or your attitude. Some people are overly critical. Some Always think they are right. Some Lack self-esteem. Listen and look at yourself from an outside perspective. Try to determine what is turning people off and change for the better.

Are you making your effort?

Some people wait for Mr. or Mrs. Right to knock on their door. A person is expected to make a concerted effort to get married – like they would for finding a job. Every day – at least 10 minutes should be dedicated to finding a mate. Call the matchmakers.

Are you improving?

G-d wants you to improve. G-d will match you to a mate that is on your level. If a person is hanging out at cheap bars – G-d will allow them to meet a potential mate that hangs out in bars. If a person is careful about Torah and Mitzvot – like being Shomer Shabbat / a Shabbat observer – G-d will allow them to meet a potential mate that is also shomer shabbat.

A mate that is Shomer Shabbat is one of the basic things for a Jewish person to look for. Why? Simple – being Shomer Shabbat keeps the family together for 2 or three meals on Friday night to Saturday night. The family interacts and has a family life. As opposed  to each one involved with their own little activities – like sports, shopping and the like. Those activities can be done on Sunday. Shabbat is family day.

Are you praying to Hash-m?

Part of the effort is to pray to Hash-m to achieve one’s goals. at times G-d puts a person in a difficult situation to get them to appeal to Him. He want’s a relationship with you like a parent wants a relationship with their child.

Are you in lala land?

People think that there is nothing wrong with watching movies or reading the romance novels. The problem is is that these media tend to show people a fantasy life. Thus they unconsciously hope to find the person that will sweep them off their feet. Dream on. Obviously, you want someone that you are compatible with – but if he or she is not a model or a smooth talker – don’t reject them because of that.

Are you and your partner marriage minded?

Some people have no interest in getting married. At times one partner wants marriage – and the other partner is in it for the good times. Make sure your partner is not wasting your time.

But He / She is my friend!

A person’s spouse is supposed to be their best friend. At times people reject a good match because “I can’t marry them- they are my friend!” It’s good to marry a friend. For the ideal ate should be your best friend.

Where is your mate’s mind?

If your date is constantly talking about shopping – that’s where their mind is. If they speak about sports – that’s where their mind it. There is a difference between having a casual interest and being totally engrossed with anything – including sports, being thrifty, shopping.

If you have to – write the answers to the questions above. Write down your priorities and show them to someone who can give you honest Daat Torah / the opinion of the Torah.

Focus on Getting Married not the Secondary

I have a friend – a very good person – his mind is focused on converting others to becoming a vegetarian. I have another friend – he does much kindness with his friend – to the point that he neglected his personal life. There is nothing wrong with that – provided they are doing so with the right intentions – and with the guidance of the Torah. But if these things remove a person from the goal of getting married – they are tricking themselves. A person is responsible for himself to follow the Torah laws before other kindnesses he can do for others.

Get married. Have a family and enjoy life already!


I ran a series of lectures on getting married. Included here is some of the advice from the lectures.

70 Tips to Protect Kids (and Yourself) on the Internet

The best medicine is preventive.

Judaism teaches the importance of purity in thought, speech, hearing, sight, and deed.

A child learns and lives. What he hears at home and by the media will train his or her thought patterns. Provide them with purity and Torah they will live pure lives.

One of our jobs as parents is to teach our children in such a way that their souls will remain as pure as when they were born throughout their lives. We are guided to that goal through the teachings of Torah. And by imparting it  to the children through the teachings of Torah – through learning it together with them, sending them to Torah day schools and bringing them up in a home conducive to Torah and Mitzvot.

Protecting thoughts from impurity does not only apply to children but to ourselves. Unfortunately many marriages were broken due to social media, improper usage of internet and smartphone apps.

Someone said – before the street was the street and the home was the home. With the TV – we bring the streets into our home. Even more so with the internet.

We thus provide a list of ways to protect the home and family from improper usage of the internet. The best way is to limit technology. Use a flip phone instead of a smartphone, but if the pros outweigh the cons of having a smartphone – we provide some simple methods of protection.

To protect one has to have a rudimentary understanding of technology. If one is not so tech oriented – perhaps they can take counsel with tech protection organizations – like

Here is some basic info about technology.

The internet is basically one computer “talking” to another computer. To gain access to internet – one uses a modem or router as the device that allows the computers to communicate.

the basic set up is:

Home Computer —> Modem/Router  —-> Internet Server Computer

Let’s add three more elements : The browser, protection program and the Cloud DNS.

The Browser – like Chrome, internet explorer, firefox or safari is a program that enables the computer to interpret the other computers information. They usually communicate with a language called HTML. The browser can prevent pop-up ads and also other improper material. Some browsers allow extensions or add-ons to be downloaded and incorporated into  browsers that can help you in your parental control quest.

The Protection Program – this program that is on the home computer that protects the home computer from threats – like spyware, viruses, root-kits, trojan horses, malware, and inappropriate information.  The threat protection programs include include windows defender, spybot search and destroy, ZoneAlarm, Comodo Firewall Pro, Avast, AVG Anti-Rootkit, Spyware Blaster, AOL Active Security Monitor, McAfee SiteAdvisor, LinkScanner Lite, McAfee Total Protection, McAfee LiveSafe, Bitdefender Internet Security, Symantec Norton Security Deluxe, Kaspersky Internet Security, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security, Kaspersky Total Security, Bitdefender Total Security, Symantec Norton Security Premium, Trend Micro Maximum Security, and others. Some are free for basic services. Some include parental controls others do not. Some protect against websites sites include k9.

The Cloud Control DNS – is a computer that is on the internet that the information that is sent to you passes through before it reaches your computer. This includes (See instructions for opendns installation here)

The Questions to ask

Social media sites are sites that allow people to communicate with one another for the sake of socializing through computers. Many exist. Recognize how one’s children are using the social media may provide info on whether the social media is a positive benefit for their kid or is it a negative influence. Are they using it properly or is it helping them to go down further in morality.

Parents may ask questions like – does my kid really need a cell phone 24 hours a day? Do they need a smart phone? How are they using social media? Do they need 24 hour internet access? Do they need access to certain apps? Do children lock their doors for periods of time? Does the Wifi have to be on all the time?

Choosing the Right Browser – Why I Uninstalled Google Chrome

I like google. They help us find info.

  • (I once wrote an email to Google that they could get many Mitzvot if their reason for providing the search engine is to do the Mitzvah of kindness in helping people find information – rather than for the money.)

Chrome is a good browser. But it may be too good. It has a mode – like internet explorer and firefox – called private browsing or incognito mode. This feature allows people to surf without a trace of what they did. great for kids that don’t want parent to find out where they surf.

I tried to disable private mode in Chrome. One article gave 28 steps on how to do it. A bit too many steps for me. apparently you have to do the reverse to reinstate it. I just decided to uninstall it. Some browsers on the computer or smartphone or tablet are made to protect from inappropriate sites.

Protection Tips

Here are some tips to prevent children from accessing sites you don’t want them to be on. We will include a gamut of ideas – some extreme (more secure) to less (less secure).

Caveat – remember to write your passwords in a secret place but accessible by you in case you forget.

The List below includes many ideas – i am sure there are more – and some are repetitive but may be phrased differently to gain a better understanding.

6 Things to Protect Family from Technology

There are 6 things a person restricts to prevent improper usage of technology
Restrict :
RT: the Router or Modem – which provides the internet service – through passwords and other restrictions
CP: The computer – through filters
PH: the smartphone – through passwords
AP: the apps or programs – through passwords or disengaging usage or preventing installation or removal of programs
MH: the mobile hotspot
GN: the availability of all of them

    More Secure

1. GN: Do not use or allow use of a internet, computer, TV, smart phone or tablet for kids or adults. (Our school has a policy that students are not allowed to use internet or smart phone). Rid yourself of devices that capture internet or at least minimize them.

2. RT: Do Not install internet service at home.

3. PH: Rid yourself of your current and/or old (and others) smartphones. Old smartphones can capture internet as well. Use a flip phone instead.

    Less Secure

4. RT: Internet Router Filters: Remove Internet from the House or restrict it to only certain computers. Parental controls allow on the router allow one to restrict which computers use the internet, what time the internet can be used by particular computers and to block any sites that have improper words in their url. (internet address)

4a. RT: Use an internet provider that already filters the internet.
Here are some sites that can help you with filters:
A program to help secure smartphones –
how to lock down your wireless network
For those who are coping with challenges –

5. GN: Put strong passwords on, Change the passwords regularly to and/or disengage :
– Access to Router administration. change your router pw regularly
– access to the wifi
– the computer (before it boots) and after it boots
– the smartphone
– particular apps on the smartphone
– the mobile hotspot

5b – Restrict Access to programs on computer or phone.

For iphone: it is easier to secure than an android. Some people buy specifically iphones because it has stronger parental controls. Use “settings” to lock access to apps.

For Android:

A special app has to be downloaded to lock apps on an Android. Search apps called “applock”. on an android lock the settings for 2 reasons – 1 to lock the access to children using the Mobile Hotspot. 2 To block children from. One produced by Cheetah – called CM applock on android allows a password on selected apps. It also takes pictures of intruders who tried to access the program – but entered the wrong password.
Lock access to using browsers like chrome or other browsers.

6. RT: Use a service called OPENDNS – found at that protects the router from inappropriate sites.

6a RT: Disney offers hardware that is called “circle” that protects family from improper internet usage for about $90. (see There is another hardware called koala as well.

7. RT: Turn of wifi – when not using it. change password to wifi regularly.

8. CP: Install Internet filters. – Like K9 ( on your devices – iphone.

9. MH: Disengage – mobile hotspots. A mobile hotspot allows a person to access the internet through a smart phone. To get around wifi restrictions – Children can borrow phone and use moblie hotspots for wifi. Put a password on the mobile hotspot application (with an applock program) or buy a phone or service that does not offer it. Note: the mobile hotspot app may not appear in the applock locking app list of programs. In that case one must lock the settings.

10. PH: change password to your phone frequently. A numerical passcode or text password is more secure than a “swipe” password. A swipe password can be easily guessed by children by watching parents unlock phone or by looking at the reflection of grease on the screen. (thus it makes sense to clean phone screen and change password regularly.)

11. CP: change your administrative and system password to your boot up system of computer. for windows based computers – one usually presses f2 or f12 when booting up system.

12. CP: remove the ability to boot up your computer with a usb or cd drive. some can bypass filter by using a USB key with another operating system.

13. AP: Check browsing history regularly to see if there are any inappropriate sites that were accessed.

14. AP: Use only browsers that you can disengage privacy mode or incognito. Incognito mode or secret mode allows a person to surf the web without being recorded in the history.

a program called incognito gone (for windows) ( allows you to remove incognito mode in several browsers. in order to do it manually see articles below.

another way (we recommend the above) to disengage incognito is below. (We tried it but it did not work.) mode. In windows you can get around it by

To disengage incognito or private browsing in Windows Internet Explorer
If you are experienced making changes to your computer’s Registry, you can permanently disable the “In-Private” browsing function so that it cannot be turned on by user settings.  If you have never done this, DON’T TRY …………get someone you trust to make this change for you.

Windows key +R

enter regedit and click OK

Navigate to….. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Safety\PrivacIE

Create a new D-Word “Start Mode”  and give it a value of “0”


15. AP: Use a keylogger – any typing into computer will be recorded

16. GN: Teach children the dangers of inappropriate material.

17. GN: Learn about punishment for releasing seed in vain.

18. GN: Split the password. Husband knows one part of password and wife knows other. And they don’t tell each other their own half.

19. GN: Pray to Hash-m / to help you have a home clean of trash

20.  GN: be in touch with technology hotline. one is called ( They can help you secure your technology for free or a very reasonable fee.

21. AP: In email filter out certain words to send immediately to trash.

22. RT: Put filter words to block sites in router

23. CP: Parental filters on mac or windows to prevent usage of computers at certain times.

24. RT: Restrict / Block all computers from your router except for the one(s) you use. Restrict Time of usage. This is done by logging on to router – see the particular router’s instructions.

25. GN: Use internet only for business.

26. RT: Don’t use wifi. If Kids want to use computer let computer be in a place where there are people who pass by. or limit Wifi by turning it off at certain times. Restrict time of computer usage. Only allow certain computers to log on to your router.

27. GN: Learn Torah Laws of Yichud / Seclusion – apply to computer. Put the computer in a public place where people come in and out to prevent people from doing things in secret. I once asked the Helper of Rabbi Elyashiv about Internet Usage. He said – it should be only used for business – and it should be treated with the same laws as Yichud.

28. GN: Think of futility of sites – it only makes you feel badly afterwards.

29. GN: Think of the day of death. Pirkei Avot. You will be judged and everybody will see your activities on a big screen in heaven.

30. GN: Send your activity by email to a trusted person through program like k9.

31. GN: Refrain from having fashion magazines and other periodicals that have tempting ads at home

32. GN: Observe Laws of Tzniut / Modesty.

33. GN: Be wary of friends of kids that are techies that steer your kids to bypass filters.

34. RT: Don’t show your wifi name publicly. On router administration panel one can choose that the wifi name not be displayed publicly. Change the name and password of the wifi access regularly.

35. RT: Assure your neighbors don’t have open usage wifi. or ask them to not give password to your kids.

36. RT: disengage wifi router button – called WPA.

37. CP: on tablets and macs – set up app access carefully.

38. GN: See if there is suspicious activity on your computer. Like – if you finished using one program and then when you log on you find another program running. Or if you use only a small amount of data on your phone and you see a lot of data being used. (see settings – data usage). If your google search brings up previous searches with improper words – be wary. Some AppLock or AppBlock programs take pictures of intruders.

39. PH: Clean your phone window – to prevent children finding out phone passwords. Children can guess the swipe code based upon finger prints on window.

40. GN: Speak openly about what you expect from kids – if they break rules make consequences

41. GN: educate them in a way that they will be able to make the right choices – Torah education

42. PH: Don’t leave Your phone lying around without supervision

43. GN: Use non common passwords

44. AP: Install web browsers with reporting features – like webshadow.

45. GN: get advice from professional –

46. GN: Learn about the consequences and punishments of immoral activity – A Torah book that treats the subject is called “Kav HaYashar”

47. CP: Remove the internet browser application – on apple products – one can easily remove or limit access to applications like app store, safari (the apple browser) etc. this is done through settings – users & groups – select user (press lock to unlock) – then go to parental controls

48. CP: Change password to computer – in windows computers usually there is a boot-up password and a password to get into windows. change both regularly

49. AP: Don’t use multiple browsers or browsers that have privacy / Incognito / Secret mode. Privacy mode – allows a person to browse without websites being logged into history. Some browsers allow a password to be used to engage privacy mode. Put on a password on privacy mode.

50. GN: Monitor the data usage of your applications on your phone. If you notice that mobile hotspot is using a lot of data and you don’t use mobile hotspot – perhaps someone in your family is using your phone. On android – go to > Settings – data usage – see which applications are using much data.

51. CP/PH: An Apple Iphone is more able to be secured from unauthorized access (without using external programs) than an android phone (i speak about the android version 5 – i don’t know about the newer versions). It has parental controls built into the operating system. Android has a program called “Family Link” (which works on Android 7.0 Nougat).

52. PH: On Android – specify which apps and content can be downloaded

Set up parental controls
  • On the device you want parental controls on, open the Play Store app .
  • In the top left corner, tap Menu Settings Parental controls.
  • Turn “Parental controls” On.
  • Create a PIN. …
  • Tap the type of content you want to filter.
  • Choose how to filter or restrict access.

53. GN: Children learn from parents. Limit your own technology usage to set a good example for children.

54. GN: Be on the same page with your spouse regarding tech usage. At times one spouse wants to be more restrictive while the other wants to be less restrictive – discuss what is important together.

55. GN: Install programs, apps and browser extensions that enhance parental control.

56. GN: Make policies at the house – no internet before homework. No usage after 9:00 pm or before 7:00 am. Some can be assured through router settings. Enforce them.

57: GN: Work with School to make and enforce policy. Here is an example of a school policy. One school we know disallows students from smartphone and internet usage.

58. CP: Prevent Wifi Password from being shown. In the wifi settings – in windows 7 – and possibly other systems – whoever has access to the computer can see the actual password of the wifi. One can hide the password of the wifi in windows 7. To hide WIFI password in windows 7 do the following. (be careful when changing settings – perhaps if you are not tech savvy – you can ask someone who is)

1. Open a command prompt as an administrator (right click, select “Run as administrator”
2. Run Regedit
3. Browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID{86F80216-5DD6-4F43-953B-35EF40A35AEE}
4. Right click on the key
5. Select Permissions
6. Click Advanced button
7. Select Owner tab
8. Highlight Administrators group and then click OK
9. Under Security, highlight Administrators group and set Permissions to Full Control
10. Delete the key

59. RT: Before purchasing a router – see if it has ample parental controls.

60. RT: Some router companies offer extra parental controls for a fee.

61. RT: Some routers offer a Smartphone app to be able to monitor the internet usage from the app.

62. GN: Don’t be quick to jump on the bandwagon for technology. See first if it is good for the spirituality, education and materialism of child.

63. GN: Discuss concerns with Torah educators, Rabbis, social workers and professionals.

64. RT: Limit IP and/or MAC addresses that can gain access to your router. This prevents people from accessing your router with an outside computer or device without your permission.

65: CP: In browser settings set your privacy and security level higher.

66: CP/RT: A firewall is a program that prevents unauthorized access to computer or router. Set up you firewall on computer and router to allow high protection.

67: CP/PH: In your browser download apps that will allow you more safe browsing. In phone look-up “appblock” or “applock” or “parental control” in playstore or appstore.

68. CP: Set site and search engine mode to “restrict” results. Google search allows one to restrict adult sites. Youtube also has a restrictive mode as well.

69. GN: Utilize several methods of parental  controls at the same time (ie, redundancy), so if one fails to catch an improper site, the other will catch it.

70. CP: You should know how to unlock devices owned by children – to allow you to check up on what they are doing from time to time.

71. GN: You should also have access to their email – or at least put filters on their emails. You should have access to their unlock code to serve to prevent them from accessing certain sites.

72. Check Logs of internet usage. Some programs – like K9 and the router will give you a list of all the sites that were accessed. The browser also does this. By checking History – one can see all the sites that were accessed. Crafty children (or adults) may hide their sites by erasing history of sites visited on browser or by using privacy/secrecy/incognito mode on the browser. But the router also has a log of sites visited. So you might want to check that log of sites visited by accessing your router as well.

73. CP: Some browsers and programs will save your password when you log-on. This is called autofill. Avoid using autofill passwords – especially for the K9 (or other parental control program) administrative password, for administrative controls on the computer, for access to the router, etc.

74. CP: Block pop-up ads. Browsers usually have an option to block ads. Set the browser (or get an extension for browser) to block pop up ads.

75. CP: When a child gets a new phone, tablet or computer – before they use it – you should set yourself up on it as an administrator of the item – and set the controls to what is appropriate.

76. CP: Do not give easy access to children to your email or list of passwords. If they do have access – they might bypass certain restrictions on the computer. Thus it makes sense to put on several levels of parental controls. Some programs will alert you to unauthorized access attempts. Be informed.

Everything in life has a price. It is up to us to weigh the pros and cons of limiting technology and the effect it will have on the future morality of the children and the family.


As we get new info – we will try to update this page. (bl”n – without commitment)

Torah Word – What to Ask for in Prayer

The Parasha / Weekly Torah Reading – Behar – talks about Shmittah – letting the land rest from laboring the field every seven years.

If one does this G-d will give blessing in the sixth year that it will produce enough for 3 years. One for the sixth year, one for the seventh and one for the first year of the new Shmittah cycle. It says:

“if you follow my ordinances … You will dwell securely in your land . And I will give you fruit to your satiety. And If you will say “what shall we eat in the seventh year – for we will not plant and not harvest?”  I [Hash-m] will command My blessing that in the Sixth Year – it will provide [enough] produce  for three years.” (Vayikra / Leviticus 25:18-21)


*Question:* – It seems that a person that has a doubt as to relying on G-d by letting his land rest on the seventh year (because he asked “What shall we eat…”) G-d will give this blessing of “produce for three years”. Shouldn’t the blessing be given to people who have faith / Emunah in G-d that he will provide?

*Answer:*    There are two kinds of blessing – in quantity or in quality. A person who has doubts – G-d will give the blessing of quantity – so they can actually see with their eyes the blessing. The quantity of three years of produce.

To those that have faith – G-d will give the blessing of quality.  Their fruit will be so nutritious that one fruit will provide enough nutrition as 3 fruits.”

When asking blessing from Hash-m  – ask for quantity and quality.

Money that will be used for spiritual growth and helping Klal Yisrael & the world – not for Taxes or Medical expenses.

A soulmate that will have good midot / character traits, desire for growth, values and hashkafa / Torah outlook that will make me & Hash-m happy.

Children that will follow Torah and be righteous…

A path in life that will help me to find true spirituality, growth & truth & that will be pleasing to you Hash-m / G-d …

To get accepted into a school that will help me to achieve my potential in life …

Be specific and detailed – but not too detailed to give G-d “leeway” to give you good. Don’t pray to marry a particular person.  G-d knows best if a particular person is good for you to marry. Pray to Marry a person who will have the qualities that you desire – if it is good for you.

May our good prayers be answered* – Amen.


*Hash-m is the Name of G-d to whom we direct our prayers.

The Vegetarian Dilemma – Being Kind with Child’s Body & Soul

Ask your local Vegetarian or Vegan – why don’t you eat meat?

Many will answer, “I am against cruelty done to animals.”

That’s good.

Torah Against Animal Cruelty

The Torah is the first code with laws against cruelty to animals. “Tzaar Baalei Haim” – forbids causing animals to suffer. Ritual slaughter – Shechita – assures the animal feels little or no pain during the slaughtering process.  “Ever Min HaH’ai” – One of the Seven Noahide Laws for all humanity – prohibits eating a limb taken from a living animal. An animal must be dead – before chopping it up. For non-Jews death means the animal must have stopped moving. For Jews – that means that Shechita had to have been done.

Animals “Kosher” for Non-Jews

Judaism allows the eating of Kosher animals for Jews if it was properly slaughtered according to Jewish law. Torah allows gentiles to eat animals as long as the animal was dead before is was chopped up.

Vegetarian – the Ideal State of Man?

In the time of Adam – the first man – people were not allowed to eat animals. After the Flood of Noah, people were allowed to eat animals. Apparently being a vegetarian is the ideal state of man.

There is a statement in Talmud – meat should only be eaten by Torah Scholars – not an ignoramus. (Peachim 49b)

Animal Souls – the Gilgul & Dibuk

Why? One reason given is that they know how to do the ritual slaughter properly. Another is apparently – in an animal there is a soul. Every Animal has a low level soul. There are five levels of the soul – Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, H’aya & Yeh’ida. Animals have the lowest level – the Nefesh. Humans have the Ruach – apparently that allows people to talk. There is the Neshama – that are for people spiritually connected. Jews receive and extra Neshama on Shabbat. Rashi says – that’s one reason why people eat more on Shabbat.

Animals and plants are more spiritually connected than we would assume. Animals have a soul. Talk nicely to a plant and it will grow better. A Japanese scientist tried an experiment on water. He would talk nicely to water and freeze it. Other water he would speak not- nicely. The water that was spoken nicely to, had beautiful crystals formed. The water that was yelled at had irregular and non-symmetrical crystals formed.

Blessing Before Eating

This might be one reason, why we Jews say a blessing before eating anything. (We have a Blessing card for food available free at the Freebies / Store Section) (Gentiles can also say the blessing for food – provided they say “G-d of Israel” instead of “Our G-d” in the blessing.) When we say the blessing – we beautify the food physically – as shown in the experiment.

But more than that – we transform the physical into spiritual energy. Also we unlock the soul that was in the food.

Soul Transmigration

When a person sins – some are punished by their soul coming back to life in an object. It could be in a rock, a plant, a tree, a fruit or an animal or a person. (For instance – Kabbalah says – one who acts with immorality with a gentile or a Jew – their soul might come back incarnated as a dog.)

When a person says a blessing on the food – that soul is released from the object and is able to make a reparation and the soul is uplifted to another degree. ie, a soul that was in a fruit – is elevated and may be able to go into an animal body.

Apparently – that is one reason why only Torah Scholars should eat meat – by them saying the blessing on the meat or using the energy for a holy purpose – like learning Torah – they are able to make the proper reparation – Tikkun to the food – allowing the soul in the food to be elevated.

Helping the Soul in the Animal

If a vegetarian says the blessings on food – he might want to reconsider eating meat. Many a time he doesn’t want the animals to be hurt because his eating of the food – may cause hurt to the body of the animal. But if he or she really wanted to be considerate of animals – they would try to eat animals and say the blessing – thus helping the soul of the animal to receive a reparation. I guess they’ll just have to help the souls in the fruits and veggies.

Helping the Soul of the Children.

I hear parents shout at children – “no candy for you!” They recognize the importance of healthy teeth and bodies. The parents are concerned for the health of the child’s body. If only parents would be so concerned about the health of the child’s soul.

The child who is helped to follow Torah and Mitzvot – will have a healthy soul. For this a Jewish child must have a healthy diet – of Kosher food, Prayer, Torah learning, acting kind with others, following Jewish law / Shulchan Aruch – Love of Hash-m, Emunah, Shabbat meals, doing Mitzvot, Torah Day school. Just like a Jewish parent or child is well versed in the mathematics tables for being a good student – being well versed in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch / Abridged Code of Jewish Law is a way for a child to grow into and parent to raise spiritually well-balanced children. A non-Jewish child – should be taught the 7 Noahide laws from Torah by a reputable Orthodox rabbi.

Many parents disregard – intentionally or unintentionally – the child’s Spiritual health & well-being. They give in to the social mores of society yet disregard the spiritual consequences of their actions. They give a child an unfiltered cell phone or internet that causes them to fall prey to improper websites and activities. They send them to colleges – without protection from cults, drugs, drinking, fraternity initiations – that may cause their spiritual downfall.

Attaining Best of Material & Spiritual World

A caring parent – cares also for the spiritual welfare of the child according to Torah. G-d gives parents the tremendous gift of a child. He expects us to return the child as pure as he or she was – as when they were born. Thus prudence asks us to be concerned that our children will live a safe life – but also a life that their children will be worthy of receiving a place in heaven.

The path of the middle is correct. Spiritual, mental and physical health are all important factors of which to be prudent. A parent that has the primary goal that their child should receive a place in the world to come – through Torah & Mitzvoth – usually attains the best of both worlds – the physical and spiritual worlds.

Jewish Books for Kids and Teens

Jewish Book Reviews

The variety of Jewish books today is wider today than ever before. Books for children, teens and adults. Books in English, French and Hebrew abound. Books on all Topics. Kosher versions of popular books and even textbooks. Fiction Suspense Novels. You name it – there is probably what you search for.

Some of the Favorite Books for and about Kids are:

The Torah Town Series.
Today, we have access to a variety of Jewish book that help parents nurture our children. An excellent Series, written by Baruch Chait is the Torah Town series. It is basically about a Town that runs things according to Torah principles. From the same author is The Incredible Voyage to Good Middos (Charachter traits).  It presents life challenges to help people improve their character traits. The stories usually end up with a moral. Interesting and excellent to help spark up conversations with the children or for children’s bedtime stories. The books help parents to deal with sometimes sensitive subjects by having the book as an intermediary for discussion. The books are so popular that the author put out a series.

A gamut of Jewish children’s  books can be found at Feldheim

The Book of Amazing Facts and Feats
– The Creator’s World and All That Fills It – By Nattan Hurvitz and Aharon Yosef Hoffman
As the title says – the book explains the wonders of the world in the perspective of Judaism. It brings out the wonder of creation and the world with exciting details and pictures.

Dealing with Children and Young Adults
Rabbi Dov Brezak is a noted author and lecturer that gives invaluable advice to help parents with upbringing children. Written in a perspective of a Rabbi and Psychologist, his books have helped countless families to improve family and parent/children relations.

Chinuch in Turbulent Times – Practical Strategies for Parents and Educators is one of his popular works. It is available at Artscroll. (Chinuch – means education in Hebrew)

Many books are available at popular book sites like Feldheim, Artscroll and the Israel Book Shop.

Or one can peruse in a Jewish Books Store.

Improving Your Family Relationships by Limiting TV Viewing

zinnia 2Imagine the good in the world created by taking one hour a day from watching TV to improve another person’s life – Especially if that person is your own child.

Sometimes we see things more objectively with a cold head.

Let’s investigate together objectively the value of Television.

Before taking a decision on something that affects the family, responsible parents evaluate the effect that that decision will have on the long-term future of the family.

There are many considerations to take into account (see below) but here we will focus mainly on Relationship between Family Members

Some Considerations:
1) Effect on Values
2) Effect on Well-being of Family
3) Effect on Productivity
4) Effect on Opportunity costs
5) Effect on Outlook in Life
6) Effect on Social Development
7) Effect on Relationship between family members
8) Effect on Character traits
9) Effect on Safety of Family
10) Effect on Education of Family
11) Effect on Convenience
12) Effect on Financial status of Family
13) Effect on Finances of Family
14) Effect on Mitzvah Observance & Torah Study
15) Effect on Perceived Status of Family
16) Effect on Creativity
17) Effect on Creative Output
18) Effect of Wholesomeness of Family
19) Effect on Entertainment of Family
20) Effect on Psychology
21) Effect on Happiness of Family
22) Effect of Relationship with Hash-m
23) Effect on Self-Esteem
24) Effect of Tranquility
25) Effect on Satisfaction in Life
26) Effect on Health
27) Effect on Continuity Of Family

Some considerations overlap, some have an affect on one another. For instance by allowing a person to be more creative, we are helping them build their self-esteem. Also, to be fair the decision should not be made in a vacuum – meaning the Value of watching TV can be compared to the value of doing kindness, learning Torah or being creative.

Families prioritize what they find most important. For some number 23 – Happiness of Family is most important. For Some number 22 – Relationship with Hash-m is most important. Based upon what is important to you, you will decide what is best for the child. (Putting the nagging of the children aside :))

We are all intelligent.

Intelligence is shown by thoughts and by action.

Let’s put things into perspective. Who are the most important people in your life? Most would say, “my immediate family. “

So does the TV improve those relationships or not?

To see things objectively we should ask people who have seen both sides of the coin. Life with and without TV.

Occasionally a town in the us drops TV for a week. They report better communication, more wholesome activities, less stress and better relationships.

Apparently, what they are saying is true.

Having a relationship with a person is much more fulfilling than having one with an image box. And even more fulfilling with family.

When a child talks with a parent and either is involved watching TV (or using the computer) undivided attention is not present. This is not respectful to the parent or the child.

It’s not just media is the message.
You know that it is unpleasant when you are in a middle of a conversation with a friend and your friend starts talking on the phone with someone else. Talking to a couch potato or computer/phone/ipad/work addict isn’t pleasant either. You know they only have half of their attention on what you are saying. The other half of their attention is on the latest news. It also sends a message to the other person … “my work/TV/phone/computer is more important than what you are saying.” We wonder sometimes where the lack of attentiveness of children comes from – here’s a possible source.

Basics of Positive Relationships
Giving undivided attention to another is one of the basics of a positive relationships. Knowing the other’s interests, challenges, strengths and positive points is another. Once known, doing things related and discussing them will help in the relationship and the development of the child or other person.

Unfortunately some are more in touch with the lives of celebrities than those of family or friends.

Sometimes, a person is so involved in a show or a program, when someone disturbs them, they snap at them with angry words. Hold on! Remember, your children come first.

Less Stress for Children. Less Parenting Stress.
I used to watch TV. I don’t miss it. Really, not one bit.

Sometimes I ask a person why they watch TV. The basic answer I get is “I have to be informed.” But in today’s day and age TV is not necessary for news. There are fine periodicals like Mishpacha Magazine, or Hamodia or Yated Ne’eman that has “all the news that’s really fit to print.” 🙂

When one sees violence on TV it stresses a person and creates a negative and fearful image of the world. You can be informed without being stressed out. Imagine what it does to children. The latest crimes, the violent schemes of the world on the big screen. Good or not good for family? You decide.

Why do children have nightmares? The Talmud in tractate Berachot discusses dreams. It says that a person sometimes dreams of what they thought about during the day.

Less TV, less stress.

More Deep Relationships with Family
If the major interests of a family is their occupation with celebrities it detracts from their relationship with their children .. or at least makes it more shallow. When one takes an interest in children, their relationship improves markedly.

More Wholesome Activities

So what should one do instead of TV to build relationships?

Get involved with the Torah community together
Do Mitzvas or Kindness Together as a Family
Bikur holim – there are groups and organizations like Bikur Holim that go to hospitals to visit patients there, some that cook for families that Just had a baby.
Read a Kosher novel – that usually have a theme with a positive morale or are educational. Many are available online at Artscroll, Feldheim, etc. One that is an excellent is “The Voyage to Good Middos” Series By Rabbi Baruch Chait. Where kids learn to improve their character traits by hearing stories of Middos challenges. It can serve to develop a good conversation.
Play board games with family
Learn Torah with family members
Invite a Torah scholar to your house to give a lecture
Say the shema at bedtime for kids. We say Shema two times a day – the morning and at night. A child that sleeps with a shema and nice Jewish bedtime story will also have nice dreams.

Most Torah Observant Jews have No Tv. For the above reason, for the opportunity cost of watching TV and for the negative influence TV has on the kids and family.

To sell ads TV many times appeals to the lowest common denominator. The advertisers get what they want – ratings. It shows violence, disrespectful youth, immorality, and the improperly dressed. There used to be a saying “The street is the street and the home is the home.” TV has effectively brought the street into the home. Is it in the best interest of the child? You decide.

Help Your Children Be Themselves
As a parent our we were blessed with our particular children because we have the greatest possibility of helping them develop their greatest potential – in regards to Torah & Mitzvot. We want them to express their real self – their soul. Limiting TV has the effect of increasing the individuality of the person. He is not influenced to be like a celebrity. He is freer to express his own-self and individuality.

They can express themselves creatively. Instead of escaping or “killing time” they express themselves through productive activities. They blossom and become more themselves.

Can’t go cold turkey? Try to make limits. No TV during supper. No TV/Computer/Phone/Ipad between 7 and nine. No TV one day a week. Anyone has the right to turn off the TV at any time for any reason without receiving derision from other family members. This is family time. Little by little you will be able to kick the habit.

I don’t think anyone ever said when the kids we’re moving out or on their deathbed : “Too bad I should have watched more TV.” But many have said… “I wish I could have spent more time with my family.”

Turn off TV. Turn on life.