Standing Up Straight: Zokeif K’fufim/Who Straightens the Bent
Books used in this review are from my personal library or were provided by my local public library. I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my website and purchase it from Amazon, I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however. I appreciate your support.
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We are on the fourth blessing of the Nisim B’Chol Yom/the blessings for daily miracles recited during morning prayers:
“Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
Who straightens the bent.”
Thus far, we have praised God for the miracle of awakening from a night of restful sleep with:
- the awareness that it is day not night.
- the ability to see the sun shining.
- the muscles to free ourselves from the captivity of our bedding.
Now, we show gratitude to God for giving us the strength to get out of bed and stand up straight and tall as we begin our day. It all seems so simple, so easy. As healthy people, we rarely think about what it might be like to lose the ability to get out of bed in the morning.
Yet there is so much in today’s world that can weigh us down, overwhelm us, keep us bent. Physical impairments, emotional concerns, stress from work, home or family, not getting enough sleep, an improper diet, not enough exercise – any of these and more can turn us upside down. We all need help staying straight and strong – to get through each day. Support can be found in many forms – a consistent exercise routine, regular meetings with friends or family, prayer, meditation, special diets or reading. Whatever the method, keeping ourselves and our growing families’ straight and strong is a valuable tool for getting through life, a tool for which we should be constantly thankful.
Here are a few books to help start your day straight, strong and with lots of energy:
Alef-Bet Yoga for Kids by Ruth Goldeen. Photos by Bill Goldeen. ©2009. KarBen Publishing. Ages 5-10. This excellent book will help your child understand the benefits of yoga stretches, while teaching them the Hebrew Alef-Bet at the same time. Make a game of it and spell out Hebrew words or names using the Alef-Bet poses provided.
Hop, Hop, Jump! By Lauren Thompson. Illustrated by Jarret J. Krosoczka. ©2012. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Ages 3-8. “Move your body!” begins this book and the kids pictured never stop jumping, stomping, hopping, shaking and moving until the very end. A great way to start any day.
Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’: The Air Band Song and Other Toe-Tapping Tunes by Lisa Loeb. Illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke. ©2013. Sterling Children’s books. Ages 4-10. Get out your air guitars, air drums and air pianos, it’s time to make a little music! While you’re at it, shake your body, kick your feet and clap your hands. There is a whole lot of energy to be generated by the songs in this little book.
Stretch by Doreen Croni. Illustrated by Scott Menchin. ©2009. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Ages 3-6 years. Stretching is one of the best ways to keep muscles strong and limber. The pooch in this charming book demonstrates a variety of ways to stretch our muscles, including the muscles in our brain…by using our imagination!
Waking Dragons by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Derek Anderson. ©2012. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Ages 2-6. In the spirit of the “Dinosaurs…” books that Jane Yolen has written so beautifully, this book about a tiny knight who is responsible for making sure the house dragons get up and get ready for the day will have young and old giggling over how difficult it can actually be to get “some creatures” ready to start the day!
©2013 Kathy Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com. All rights reserved.
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