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The Bedtime Sh'ma

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The Bedtime Sh'ma
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The Bedtime Sh'ma
Adapted by Sarah Gershman
Illustrations by Kristina Swarner
EKS Publishing Co., 2007
ISBN: 978-0-9391-4454-9
The Bedtime Sh'ma
Audio CD
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OR, Order directly from: EKS Publishing Company

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - November 10, 2011

The Bedtime Sh'ma: A Good Night Book is a multifaceted book designed for children ages 2-7. On the surface, it is a children's story book filled with soothing pictures and a story that follows a young child as she says her prayers before going to bed. It also illustrates the comfort and a security that saying their evening prayers can bring to a child. At the end of the book you'll find excerpts from the Kriat Sh'ma in both English and Hebrew along with a short essay about the Bedtime Sh'ma, making this book also a study guide and a prayerbook.

The story in this book was adapted by Sara Gershman directly from the Bedtime Sh'ma prayer, and it is accompanied by a series of darling illustrations by Kristina Swarner. This is a wonderful book to help familiarize your kids with the bedtime prayers, and as a 'quieting' book to read to your kids before they go to bed. A companion CD is also available that contains nine recordings that are perfect for playing for a child who likes or needs a little music to soothe him to sleep.

The CD, which contains vocals by Rabbi Julie Andelman and Ronit Morris, contains nine selections, namely,
  1. Ribono Shel Olam
  2. HaMapil Chevlei Sheinah
  3. Sh'ma - V'achavta
  4. Hashkiveinu
  5. Ufros Aleinu
  6. HaMalach HaGo'eil
  7. Birkat Kohanim
  8. BeSheim HaShem
  9. Adon Olam
Establishing a bedtime prayer ritual, along with a time for reflection, is a beautiful tradition to establish and one which gives you a chance to bond with your children as you teach them the bedtime prayers and help them to say them until such time as they can do them on their own - or are grown up enough that they no longer want you to 'listen in'. A beautiful book, The Bedtime Sh'ma is a must-have for any Jewish family with small children.

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