Efrat Libfroind, highly acclaimed pastry chef and graduate of elite international cooking schools, is a sought-after lecturer in Israel and abroad whose recipes appear regularly in Binah magazine.She speaks on a wide range of culinary themes, from food technology to gourmet cuisine.When someone grows up surrounded by other Jews, he has less opportunity to think about what Judaism means to him, simply because he is not confronted by others to do so.But your children – whether it’s wearing a kippah in public, or only eating kosher food – have the challenge of justifying and articulating their actions. Of course, a small Jewish community has a downside as well – primarily the lack of educational opportunities.Efrats’ creations are renowned for their intricate, award-winning designs. We live in a small city with a very small Jewish community.She resides in Jerusalem with her husband and six children. I see my friends and relatives who live in cities with a thriving Jewish life and for us everything seems like such a struggle.
I don’t want to pressure my husband to leave the job he loves, but I am concerned.On Friday night, when we bless our sons, we say that they should be – not like the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – but rather “like Ephraim and Menashe.” Why were they chosen as the subjects of this important tradition?A beautiful explanation is articulated by Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch (19th century Germany): The first generations of Jews – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – raised their children primarily in the Land of Israel.But for now, this should help you to focus on the positive.
The next generation would grow up surrounded by paganism and immorality. And throughout the ages, Jewish parents have prayed that their children should be able to withstand the temptations of exile, and keep a strong, proud Jewish identity.The test was whether Judaism would survive amidst all the distractions and challenges of diaspora life. In one sense, your children have a great advantage.