It’s 7:00 PM, and Levi and Gittel are ready- pajamas on, negel vasser by their beds, shema cards in hand. Their father is waiting on the couch, phone in hand, smiling. Preparing for bed used to be a struggle, but nowadays, the kids eagerly zip through each task, anticipating their favorite part of the day.
It may sound hard to believe, but this very scene unfolds nightly in homes from Crown Heights, NY to Ghana, Africa as kids prepare to end their day with Jewish Bedtime Stories. Some listen by calling in to a dedicated phone line, while others select a story from the website.
“The site has over 200 stories so far, with stories added on a weekly basis,” Jewish Bedtime Stories founder Rabbi Zalman Phillips told anash.org. “The number of listeners has been growing quickly, with parents saying that their children really look forward to it.”
Tried and true, the stories have been taken from authentic sources, and told by Rabbi Phillips to his many students over the years. Each one contains a positive lesson for listeners to internalize.
“Children and adults seem to learn better by example,” Rabbi Phillips said. “When hearing a story of noble deeds, one may try to emulate; when hearing of miracles Hashem made, it strengthens our trust in Him.”
“My kids ask for the phone every night,” said Rabbi Yehuda Blotner, a teacher at Cheder Chabad in Monsey. “They went through all of the Yiddish and are now in middle of the English ones.”
Considerable amounts of time, effort and money are invested to keep this project running. Each online contribution- which can be made here– makes a big difference.
“Around half my listeners are not Lubavitch, mainly thanks to an exclusive channel with NakiRadio,” Rabbi Phillips said. “This is the best hafatzos hayahdus and mayanus.”
To hear stories by phone, call 718-682-2777.