Busy with Kids this Yom Kippur? Read This!

Busy with Kids this Yom Kippur? Read This!

Not going to be spending much time, or any time at all in shul this Yom Kippur? A bit disappointed to be spending the most lofty day of the year stuck at home with young kids breaking up fights, changing diapers, and passing out bamba?

Listen to this…

The great Rabbi Elya Lopian zts”l taught that while the rest of the Jewish people is in shul praying, we mothers of young children should not feel the slightest bit disappointed that we spend this day focused on physical tasks rather than in the elevated atmosphere of the synagogue.

Rabbi Lopian taught: “Women who are at home during the High Holidays, busy caring for their children, don’t need the atmosphere and all of the prayers that are said in synagogue, since their prayers rise upward through a pipeline that goes directly to the Throne of Glory. And with the few words they’re able to daven, they are brought as close to the Throne of Glory as all the people who are standing for long hours, begging and pleading.” (Translated from Avodas HaTefillah V’Hamussar b’Mishnasah shel Kelm)

If you are a mother of young children, and dedicate your holiday to caring for them and your family’s needs, then the few minutes of prayer you say on your living room sofa are as valuable in Heaven as a rabbi’s 3-hour Amida in synagogue.

And remember: if you feel like your children are getting in the way of your serving Hashem this Yom Kippur…

Rabbi Brezak teaches: “Children don’t get in the way, they ARE the way.”

And let’s finish off with a story I just received from JewishMOM Chaya Cohen:

There once was a king who made a ceremony in honor of his birthday.

All day, he sat on his throne receiving his citizens’ well wishes. Each was rewarded for his or her visit in accordance with the king’s respect for that subject.

In the line stood the nanny of the prince, the king’s son.

When her turn came, everyone waited to hear what reward she would receive, as the king surely valued her role immensely.

But when the nanny came before the king, before she could speak, the king said to her: “If you are here, WHO is watching my son?!?”

I have a friend, a mother of 9, who shares this story every Yom Kippur as she watches her children from the neighborhood park bench. She says, “when my turn in judgment comes this Yom Kippur, all I know is I will be able to say that I spent this holy day watching Your children.”

Gemar Chatima Tova, JewishMOM!


  1. What’s his source? How does he know of this direct pipeline to the Throne of Glory?

    • While I may not be familiar with Rabbi Lopian’s source, I sure know about that pipeline! I oft think that mothers talk to G-d, REALLY talk to Him in a way no one else can. I’ve said the most heartfelt prayers because of (and for) my children. I like that line, “Children don’t get in the way, they ARE the way.” Talk about refrigerator Torah!!! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. BH I just gave birth a few days ago so this will be a very different Yom Kippur for me. Definitely very reassuring to hear!

  3. Thank you. I needed that..

  4. Hashem in His infinite wisdom, knows exactly why we are not in shul. Didn’t He give us these children to take care of? This IS our Yom Kippur Avoda this year (and maybe next as well.) Let’s see it for the brocha it is and not for what we did in years passed when we were not blessed with these little people to guard.

    Chana stayed home for years with her son Shmuel after he was born, giving up her time in Shiloh at the Mishkan. Is our davening greater than that?

    May all of Klal Yisroel be blessed to have healthy children, whose needs we can meet and may Hashem answer our prayers from wherever they are said, in whatever state of mind and as few (or many) as they may be.

  5. Some beautiful thoughts here. Funny, my main thought is not that I’m “stuck” with the kids, after all, Hashem gave them to me! But it certainly is challenging taking care of them while fasting. That’s just plain hard. So I guess the few extra kapparas don’t hurt!! This year will be extra challenging because my two best helpers have now become fasters….. Though I guess that in itself is a great zechut. Hmm, not too bad after all, these kids….

  6. I wish the answer to “who’s watching my son?” Was “another one of your trusted advisors”. I think it’s a wonderful article but I think that Abbas can also take a part in watching their children on Yom Kippur. I’m sure their tefilot while watching their children will b treated with as much reverence as a mothers- and why shouldn’t we have a chance to daven in Shul? Or even just alone?

    • I think we are all forgetting something here. Our husbands are the other half of our souls! Their tefillot are for us and connected to us. Many times my husband and I were doing hitbodedut at the same time but in different locations, without knowing. Afterwards we often realised we had said the same thing, or had the same experience, seen the same image……
      I think that whoever is married with children and staying at home should be thankful they have a husband to pray for them. And for those that do not have husbands all the above chizuk applies even more so!!!!! We just need to be at peace with the situation Hashem deals us.

  7. Thanks for this, I really related to it today. I think the point of the story of the nanny is that she’ll get what she needs without having to come to the King directly on that day because of the importance of her job rather than she doesn’t get what she needs because she’s stuck minding the kids. A good year to all Jewish mums (and moms too)

  8. Having spent much of Yom Kippur at home for the last 19 years, just to reassure readers that eventually it is possible to get back to shul. My husband is a communal rav, so there’s no possibility of him not being in shul (except for the year when I gave birth on YK and he spent the day in hospital with me!). When I had children who couldn’t get there or couldn’t be quiet, I was often able to share with a friend so we could at least daven undisturbed or maybe go to shul for a while. Now our youngest is five, I tried going for Kol Nidre, and he obligingly fell asleep during his father’s drashah and slept all through maariv, allowing me to daven. We went for a couple of hours in the morning and had a brief trip back just at the end of Neilah in time for Avinu Malkeinu and the Shemos. So if you’re finding YK hard at home, enjoy your little ones and you will eventually return to shul, with a greater appreciation of it.

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