'The Perfect Prayer'

Linda Starr reads to pajama-clad youngsters
Linda Starr reads to pajama-clad youngsters
     Wearing their pajamas, carrying their pillows and teddy bears or dolls, five young people and their parents came to a pajama party at Rabbi and Linda Starrs' home.
     They came together first for a story, which Linda read to them, about the princess who asked her advisors for the "Perfect Prayer." Each advisor suggested something: Shimon said it should make people think and be silent, so he suggested "Shhhh." Miriam suggested a prayer that would create a sense of wonder, "Mmmmm." And Akiva suggested awe and amazement, "Ahhhh." The princess put them all together: "Shhhhh – Mmmmm – Ahhhhhhh."
      Then they started the project – making their own pillowcases complete with their picture on it, the word, "Sh'ma" in Hebrew and transliteration, and decorations. The kids did a great job on their pillowcases.
      Then they all gathered around Linda for a bedtime ritual: what did each of them enjoy most about today, a story, "Good Night Sh'ma" and saying the "Sh'ma."
      Ready now to go home and to bed, no one wanted to leave. They stayed and talked and laughed and played. So did their parents. Knowing there was school the next day, all reluctantly went home, having learned Hebrew letters, the Sh'ma, the number "one" in Hebrew and, hopefully, with a new bedtime ritual they might make their own.