18 Things I’ve Learned From My Jewish Father

Hineni is a new blog on Jewish Fatherhood in the 21st Century. Welcome! I’ll be sharing my stories, experiences, joys, and challenges as I navigate fatherhood, with our first child (red panda cub) on the way in August. Read more about me and the blog here.

Given that it’s Fathers Day and my very first post, what better than to share some of what I’ve learned from my own Jewish father?

So, in honor of my dad (half of one commandment – check!), here are 18 things I’ve learned from my father. Some by direct teaching, many others by osmosis and observation, all through having my dad be my dad.

What I’ve Learned From my Dad – 2017 Edition: 


[insert dad joke about challah here]

  1. There’s never a bad time for a pun.
  2. Shop at Costco for (just about) everything. If it isn’t at Costco, do you really need it? 
  3. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. 
  4. Use the microwave with great creativity. 
  5. Trust that the most important part of the recipe will stay with you. Why write it down?
  6. Good whiskey and/or wine begets good conversations. Most of the time. 
  7. Mom will pour some of her beer into your glass so plan for that before ordering another drink. 
  8. The best gym/workout is the one you actually use. 
  9. Skiing is all in the hips.
  10. Always pole plant.
  11. Get out early on powder days.
  12. Wear a powder cord on days when it’s really that deep. 
  13. Develop your own style and you’ll be recognized from any chairlift on any run.
  14. Work hard and be patient. Things will fall into place.
  15. Sometimes people are jerks. Sometimes you still have to work with them. Don’t let that skew your actions for the sake of influence or inclusion. Follow your own moral compass, even if it puts you on the outside. 
  16. Find a passion hobby worth getting up early for. Keep doing it. Teach your kids. Don’t be too disappointed if they’re really not good at it. They’ll find something else to be good at. 
  17. Also do things you know you’ll never be great at, consistently and frequently. They’re that much more worth doing because of it. 
  18. Your kids do actually listen to you, even if it takes a few years (or decades) for the message to sink in. 

Thanks, Dad, for doing all that you do. I love you. Happy Fathers Day.

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