All your questions for Naomi Adler, Esq., answered! This week’s question:

What ritual do you do every single day and why?

Every morning I sing the Modeh Ani. It’s a prayer of gratitude you sing after you wake up; it means “I give thanks.” Singing Modeh Ani is a reassuring way for me to start each day, because it says what I believe in: that I’m grateful to be alive. It makes me ready to start the day. I sing it in the shower.

I learned from my family, who were Holocaust survivors — and survivors in general — that no matter what’s going on in the world or in your life, you wake up and are grateful just to wake up and have the day ahead of you. I begin each day by affirming that. It gives me energy.

The Modeh Ani is also very meaningful to me. Tradition is incredibly important, and for me religious tradition is totally interconnected with family. My father’s side of the family is very musical, and has always connected prayer with singing, and that’s how I pray: I sing. Singing makes the words and feelings come to life in a deeper, more visceral way.

I actually sing a version of Modeh Ani written by my grandfather. It’s playful, and at the end there’s a place in the song where you can give your kids a kiss, so when my kids still let me wake them up in the morning, I sing it and kiss them on their foreheads. So when I’m singing the Modeh Ani, it makes me feel connected to family. And I think about the fact that I’m raising the next generation of boys with a lot of yichus.

Shabbat Shalom,