We tried a new art direction today with “torn midrash”. We talked about the concept of angels and what it means to be afraid, what makes us afraid and what makes us feel safe. The class watched G-dcast on You Tube to understand the meaning of the parsha, Was Jacob wrestling with an angel, with G-d or actually with his brother Esau?
TO FIND OUR SPOT IN THE TORAH! WE LOOKED AT THE SHAPE AND LAYOUT OF THE TEXT. WE EVEN USED THE CHUMASH TO HELP FIND OUR SPOT, BUT IT WAS SO DIFFICULT, WE WERE STILL ABOUT 20 SECTIONS OFF. WE FOUND OUR PLACE BY LOOKING FOR THE WORD TOLDOT IN HEBREW. AT FIRST WE FOUND THE TOLDOT (GENERATIONS) OF SHAM, THE SON OF NOAH, BUT THEN WE FOUND THE TOLDOT OF ISAAC. THE IMAGE IS WHERE WE FIRST THOUGHT WE WOULD FIND TOLDOT AS THE SHAPE OF THE SPACES RESEMBLED THE BREAKDOWN OF GENERATIONS. WE ACTUALLY FOUND THAT THE PARSHA OF TOL’DOT IS MOSTLY TEXT WRITTEN CLOSE TOGETHER WITHOUT BREAKS. THE ONLY BREAK IS WHEN THERE IS A DISCUSSION OF THE BITTERNESS THAT WAS FELT BY ESAU’S ANGER TOWARD JACOB.
Hay Shabbat school students were shocked when the Tanach walked into our room. [In reality they were parent volunteers who ‘became’ the Torah, N’vi-im (Prophets) and K’tuvim (Writings)]
Each part of the Tanach was explored @ a station, in a small parent-led group. Students found selections in the Tanach – and used them as springboards for discussion. They shared favorite figures in the Torah, did a puzzle on the Prophets and found that many of the melodies we sing in services are actually from K’tuvim (Writings).
Our prophet even dressed-the-part!
Check out the siddur (prayerbook) the next time you’re in synagogue. (The readings are often referenced.) How many of our readings can you find from Psalms? How many from Lamentations?
During our first meeting, we studied: Hol Hamoed – Exodus 33:12-34:26. We discussed the idea of God, our individual feelings & beliefs. Then we found a quiet spot in the Sukkah and attempted to come up with our own names for God – in words, rhythm or movement (perhaps ones that even indicated our feelings about the ‘awesomeness’ we find in nature).
What word(s), rhythm or movement would you use to express ‘the wonder in the world’?
Last week we studied: Noah – Genesis 6:9-11:32. We focused a great deal on the fact that there were 14 of each ‘clean animal’ – and 4 of each ‘unclean animal’…and the fact that Noah sent the raven out first. We explored how the raven might’ve felt…and made the connection to endangered species (as the raven was an ‘unclean animal’).We discovered that, as of 2012…at threat are: 41% of amphibian species, 33% of reef-building corals, 30% of conifers, 25% of mammals, and 13% of birds.
The eco-drama we created reflected many of the concerns of the raven, endangered species, Noah’s role – and ours – in it all.
We were so busy creating, writing and performing that YOU’LL have to ask your child what part they played (we forgot to take photos). (Among the parts played were: narrator, Noah, raven, the-people-who-didn’t-make-it, ‘clean’ & ‘unclean’ animals….)
Look for documentation & photos from some of our meetings in the future!
Our joint wishes for the New Year! We are all connected as is illustrated in the crossword style layout for our New Year Wishes! Be sure to come into the building and read what our students are wishing for!
Shana Tova and G’mar Hatima Tova
Just as the Torah portion for the week starts: “In the beginning God created…”, we began our studies. We noted that the same shoresh (root word) was in both the word B’reishit and Rosh HaShanah! First we discussed the different words barah & yotzerwhich describe creative acts (checking out the conch case & munching on fresh baked challah, to give concrete examples of each). Then we took a ‘field trip’ to gather some of the creations from RSNS’ Mitzvah Garden…and then set out to create our own visual/printed Gardens of Eden.