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Jewish Studies Weekly Notes

January 29, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized

TU B’SHVAT BLEND: We conducted a seder with many fruit samples representing our connection to the earth, to ourselves, and to God.  We also poured 4 different cups of wine (grape juice) using white and purple to create shades symbolic of the 4 seasons.  The children did the pouring by themselves!  The children sat at tables intermingled with friends from both grades.  Before each cup a question was posed such as “How do you take care of your body”?    ” How do you take care of the earth”?  Table mates discussed the questions, and some ideas were shared with the whole group.  A braha was said for each cup of wine and for the fruits.   After our whole group activity, we split into 2 smaller groups.  One group created tree art using a variety of materials. First grade students labelled their trees in Hebrew.  The other group worked in the school garden.  Then the groups switched.  Many thanks to May, Blake, and Kyra for supporting this program!

HEBREW: We worked on the last story in book 2 of Ariot.  The story is about a class party and emphasizes the verb yoshev/yoshevet (sit).  We played a couple of games using this verb.  One student needs to guess who is sitting or standing.  The “guesser” needs to have their back to the class and use the verb in a sentence as they are guessing.  These books will come home with Tuesday homework.

TORAH: The parsha is Yitro. Yitro is Moshe’s father-in-law.  We discussed what a father-in-law is.  The topic of divorce also came up.  We discussed that when people are married they are relatives because they sign a contract, and that sometimes married couples change their minds.

In our study we mostly focused on the Ten Commandments that Moshe receives in this parsha.

PARSHA HOMEWORK QUESTION:  Which commandments do you like best?  Why?

DISCUSSING DEATH: Yesterday we discussed the death of Terry (Morah Shoshana’s husband).  I learned that some of the children needed to understand what death is.  We discussed that the physical body shuts off.  We named some of the parts of the body such as brain, heart, and lungs. We discussed the Jewish approach to death, and I introduced shiva.  Additional terms such as funeral, cemetery, and burial were defined. If you would like additional resources check the links on the email that Shoshi sent yesterday.

Terry was an amazing man. He was a talented teacher, musician, astronomer, photographer, gardener, husband, father, and friend to many.  May his memory be a blessing.

Wishing you all a peaceful Shabbat.