The Book of the Year!

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I am so excited to be posting the first of a 8-week series of excerpts from the book of the year Mothers to Mothers: Women Across the Globe Share the Joys and Challenges of Jewish Motherhood by Julie Hauser (Artscroll). I LOVE THIS BOOK, a collection of honest and colorful interviews with 30 Orthodox mothers sprinkled with insightful and inspiring mothering advice from respected educators and rebbetzins (if you’ve read my books, this will sound familiar. What a treat, an unprecedented freebie to read a book I love as much as one of my own, without having to write it myself!)

2 Excerpts from Mothers to Mothers

Gitty: A writer and birthing assistant. Originally from Denver, living in Israel.

The yetzer hara [evil inclination] loves to get moms depressed about their bad behavior and make us feel like we can’t or never will be able to improve. But this is a patent sheker [falsehood]. If we want to change, we can and we will. I have changed so much over the years; it’s an exhilarating experience to be liberated from one’s bad behavior.

Motherhood is an attitude. If you knew without a doubt that this was your last day on earth, how would you interact with your children? What would you say, how would you act? How do you want them to remember you? What important messages do you want them to internalize that are uniquely yours to transmit? It’s important to know your answers to these questions and to live them every day!…

I am amazed to hear how I speak to my children now, compared to how I used to speak to them. How I handle situations now, compared to before. I am not perfect, but I am quicker to forgive myself, and quicker to change modes from a negative to a positive. Sometimes the kids don’t even realize what happened. Wasn’t Ima just uptight? How come she’s smiling now? Because I caught myself on the wrong track and changed lanes in “mid-yell.”

I think motherhood is one of the most demanding challenges ever placed before a person. It has challenged my middos [character] in every way. I know that every day I will face new growth and that is quite exciting, though also daunting. That is why I take one day at a time — actually, one moment at a time. It is more manageable for me, and more exciting. You get to appreciate the miracles more when you move more slowly through life.

A Rebbetzin Speaks about Feeling That You’ve “Blown It”

Now, what do you do if you look at the clock and it’s only 10 o’clock in the morning and your throat’s already sore from screaming so much, and your day has hardly started? What you do at that point, is, you say, “Thank G-d, I noticed it now, and from here on in, I’m going to change my tone.”

I discovered a very interesting truth about life. Just because you start a sentence at the top of your lungs does not mean you have to finish it at the top of your lungs! Sometimes we feel, “Well, I’m already in this mode, I’m already communicating like this, I sort of owe it to my ego to continue!” You don’t have to! Stop mid-sentence!

And what if it’s 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 o’clock in the afternoon, and you feel like you blew the whole day? There’s no such thing as having blown anything! There is no such thing, there is no such concept as having blown something. You did not blow anything.

As long as you are still alive, you can rectify the day. Say, “Hakadosh Baruch Hu, dear G-d, I lost myself, I’m really sorry, I have 20 minutes left of my day; please let me live the last few minutes of this day the way I would have liked to.” Don’t let the yetzer hara [evil inclination] convince you ever, at any point, that you blew anything. There is no such concept, but the yetzer hara loves that concept. Because it’s so wonderfully depressing, it’s so magnificently and totally strong in its ability to completely cripple us in our ability to move ahead.

Don’t let him work that line on you. You didn’t blow anything! You made a mistake. So the day was very stressful. You’re a person, and you made a mistake. You’ll do better from here on in.

Transcribed from an audiotape on preparing for Rosh Hashanah, JEP of Rockland Lecture Series; published with permission from the speaker (who prefers not to be named).

Reproduced with permission from Mothers to Mothers, by Julie Hauser; copyright ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.


  1. Hadassah Aber

    I am a rather recent subscriber and really enjoy your videos. I did not know you had written any books. Could you send me your book names and where they can be bought? keep up the great work.

  2. Hadassah, I wrote two books called Expecting Miracles: Finding Meaning and Spirituality in Pregnancy through Judaism and One Baby Step at a Time: 7 Secrets of Jewish Motherhood. You can read excerpts and purchase for the best price on the internet at my website,

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