Many religious traditions believe marriage is a gift from God and family life a blessing. Raising a family is a sacred duty to Jewish people, a way to express loyalty to Judaism. Here we present six videos unfolding Jewish Values in Family Life.
Raising a family is a sacred duty to Jews, and a way to express loyalty to Judaism.
Roles of men and women in the family
The Tenakh and Talmud describe different roles for men and women.
Judaism recognises that each parent has something different to give to their children to contribute to their religious, educational, emotional, social and material needs.
In Orthodox Judaism, the role of women is generally seen as separate but of equal value. Women’s obligations and responsibilities are different from men’s, but no less important. The primary role of a woman is as wife and mother.
Reform Jews believe in the equality of men and women. Both husband and wife may work outside the home, take part in domestic work and raise the children.
Parents and children
In Jewish families, parents and children are responsible for each other as a way of honouring God. Parents are seen as partners in God’s creation of each human being, so to honour one’s parents is to honour God.
In the same way, to disrespect, or show violence toward one’s parents is to do so to God.
What does Judaism say about Family Life?
Honour your Mother and Father
1. “We Are Family: A Jewish Folk Tale for Kids”
- How do you show love to your family members?
- How can you help members of your family who live with you?
- How can you help members of your family who don’t live with you?
2. “Hachnasat Orchim: How to Make People Feel Welcome”
- How do you think cousin Yasmine feels when she rings the doorbell and nobody answers the door?
- What feelings do you think Yasmine feels when she arrives at the Ploni home for a visit, and the family keeps playing video games and having a dance party?
- How might Yasmine feel when Ben turns off his screen and Lila offers to shares her toy?
- What can you do to make another person feel wanted when they call you on the phone or knock on your bedroom door?
3. “The Best Medicine: Bikur Cholim (Visiting the Sick)”
- How does Rafi try to make Gabi feel better while keeping himself safe from germs?
- How do Mama and Lila Ploni bring a smile to grandpa’s face while he’s in the hospital?
- What creative ideas do you have for helping someone who is sick to feel a little bit better, even if just for a few minutes? How might you do those things while keeping yourself safe from germs?
For more on the topic of bikur cholim (visiting the sick), see our activity guide and further discussion questions dedicated to this video.
4. “Get Along, Gang: Peace in the Home (Shalom Bayit)”
- What are some of the ways in which members of the Ploni family have hurt each other’s feelings?
- Can you think of a time when you felt that way?
- What is one thing that you can do this week to help bring shalom bayit to your home?
For more on the topic of shalom bayit, see our activity guide and further discussion questions dedicated to this video.
5. For Parents: “What’s Jewish about Welcoming Guests? An Intro to Hachnasat Orchim”
Let’s be creative! If you are dropping in on grandparents for some FaceTime or having a video playdate, or even just thinking about the people who deliver your mail and packages and groceries – how can you make your guests feel welcome?
6. For Parents: “Visiting the Sick: A Jewish Value to Teach Your Kids”
Keep that creativity coming! When you can’t visit in person, how can you help someone you love feel less lonely or unhappy while they are sick – or while staying home to avoid getting sick?