At a critical turning point, facing 40 with two young children and a clinical psychology practice, Wendy Mogel happened to attend a Rosh Hashanah service. “Now we could see how these people, the Jews of West Los Angeles, celebrated their ancient holy day,” she says.
From that single experience, Mogel, who had known almost nothing about Judaism from her Jewish parents, became increasingly interested in the practices of “these people,” and began to study Torah, Talmud, and Jewish tradition. Soon, her own outlook was inextricably bound with Jewish teachings, and she found herself bringing these theories into her clinical practice.
The result is The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children (by Wendy Mogel, Scribner, $14.00), a guide to childrearing following three principles of Jewish thought: moderation, celebration, and sanctification. Mogel talks about everything from picky caters to punishments, all with Jewish traditions as the source for solutions.