Judaism has interesting traditions. Unlike most religions, we have many home-based rituals. So, many holidays are centered around family. Shabbat dinners, Passover Seders, meals in the Sukkah, Erev Yom Kippur dinner and Break-the-Fast. In today’s modern world, with family scattered all over the country, and sometimes around the world, even if we can’t physically be with family, we at least call, or Facetime, or Skype, to wish them a happy holiday.

On the other hand, Jewish holidays, especially the High Holy Days, can also magnify differences we have with other family members. We become more aware of how they have related to us during the past year, and how we related to them.

I would to share with you an e-mail written by a Jewish mother to her son, shortly after saying goodbye to him when she dropped him off at college. She was concerned that he had the tendency to be, shall we say “independent minded,”and hoped to give him something to hold on to, that would remind him of the importance of making good choices in his life.