Issuu on Google+

5494-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:19 PM

Page 1

Rosh means “head.” Shanah is a year. When we put the two words together as Rosh ha-hanah, it means “head of the year,” or “new year.”

DID YOU EVER TRY TO BLOW A SHOFAR?

Rosh ha-Shanah is the Birthday of the Universe. It is a time we set aside to think, pray and thank God for making our world. On Rosh ha-Shanah, Jews have special family meals, send each other new year’s greetings, and spend time in synagogue.

The shofar is a special horn we sound on Rosh ha-Shanah and at the end of Yom Kippur. It is made from a ram’s horn and it makes a sharp sound to get our attention. The shofar announces the new year. Shofar begins with the letter L (Shin).

øôÈBL


5494-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:20 PM

Page 2

On Rosh ha-Shanah we eat special foods. We dip apples in honey. They taste sweet. We hope that the new year will be sweet, too. HOW IS A

YEAR ROUND?

We use a hallah that is round. A year is also round. We often dip our hallah in the honey, too.

There is also a special way to say “hello” on Rosh ha-Shanah. We wish each other “l’Shanah Tovah”. It means “to a good year.” It is a wish that God will give us a wonderful new year.

At Home

Every time we do something new, or every time we do something for the first time since the last Rosh ha-Shanah, we say the Shehe-Heyanu blessing to thank God.

íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .äf†ä— ïîÇfìÈ eðòÈéb„ä”åŠ eðîÈéŠ÷”åŠ eðéç‘ä–LÆ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, shehe-Heyanu v’Kiyemanu v’Higi’anu la-Zman ha-Zeh. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Cosmos Who keeps us alive, sustains us, and helps us reach this moment.

HOW IS A GREETING LIKE A PRAYER?


5494-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:20 PM

Page 3

Shofar begins with the letter L (Shin).

Circle all the L (Shin) letters.

L

L L

FOLLOW AN ANCIENT JEWISH CUSTOM. DRIZZLE HONEY IN THE SHAPE OF A SHIN ON A PLATE. LET YOUR CHILD LICK SWEETNESS OFF. ANOTHER IDEA

At Home

THE WOULD BE TO USE CHOCOLATE SYRUP.

WHAT DO WE…

The shofar sounds four calls. Teki’ah: A long note.

HEAR

EAT

Shevarim: Three medium notes.

Teru’ah: Nine quick notes.

Teki’ah Gedolah: A very long note. SEND

ON ROSH SHANAH? HA -S

CAN YOU SOUND LIKE A SHOFAR? CAN YOU MAKE THE FOUR CALLS?


5494-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:21 PM

Page 4

Draw a Circle Around the Shofar Blower One of the people in this Rosh ha-Shanah congregation is holding a shofar. He or she is getting ready to blow it. Find and circle the shofar blower.

COPYRIGHT © 2000. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> • WEBSITE WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5681-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:31 AM

Page 1

Beginnings Shalom, It is our hope that this folder is the beginning of a number of relationships:

Celebrating the Fall Holidays

The school year starts with a gaggle of Jewish holidays. Sometimes they seem overwhelming, but actually they all fit together.

Rosh ha-Shanah

Rosh ha-Shanah is the Jewish New Year. Rosh ha-Shanah is most simply explained as “the birthday of the universe.” It celebrates God’s creation. But Rosh haShanah is most importantly understood as the day “when all the inhabitants of the world pass before God in judgment” (Rosh ha-Shanah 1.2). It begins the period of the year when Jews reflect on their actions and try to improve them.

•a year of

Jewish learning that you will share with your child.

a partnership between you and your child’s religious school teacher—and quite possibly a sense of community that you and other families will share.

•a fresh look at Jewish traditions and the meaning they can have for your family. L’Shanah Tovah. This should be the beginning of a wonderful year.

Being a Religious School Parent You may have had a chance to practice before, but right now you have just inherited a big responsibility. You have a child in religious school. It takes a lot more than carpooling to do a good job. Here, in no particular order, are five of the most important things you can do.

1

Be interested. Ask about class. Carefully display the drawings and the craft projects that are sent home. Make the reading of the BJL Beginnings folders an important weekly event. Honestly share your own experiences with your child. If the topics studied evoke family memories, this is a wonderful time to show pictures, continued on back page

The ten-day period between Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur is known as the “Ten Days of Repentance” and is at the heart of an almost-two-month period in the Jewish calendar that centers on t’shuvah (repentance). T’shuvah is one of the most important of Jewish ideas. Judaism teaches that it is the responsibility of every person to a. reflect upon his or her actions. b. recognize and take responsibility for those times when he or she “missed the mark” and did not act in the best possible way. c. apologize for or in other ways fix the things that have been hurt or broken through these “missings of the mark.” d. do the “inner work” necessary to see to it that the urges and weaknesses that led to this behavior will never do so again. In other words, t’shuvah is about growth. These ten days are the perfect time to teach your child how to say “I’m sorry.” The skill of “knowing when you are wrong” is one of the most important interpersonal tools. It is the way we learn to take full responsibility. Admitting to being wrong” is at the heart of sustaining relationships and, counter to many first thoughts, is the key to good leadership. continued on page 2


5681-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:36 AM

Page 2

Rosh ha-Shanah offers you the opportunity to have wonderful conversations with your child about knowing when he or she is wrong and “how to fix things he or she injured”. The Torah only teaches two things about Rosh haShanah. The first is that you should make it into a holiday. The second is hearing the call of the shofar, the ram’s horn. The shofar sounding is the high point in the services for Rosh ha-Shanah. Originally, the ram’s horn was an announcing tool, a way of gathering the tribe or leading troops into battle. When the shofar was moved into synagogue services it became a symbolic calling, an attempt to awaken the soul to the inner work of selfimprovement. A number of other customs have grown up around Rosh ha-Shanah.

•The special greeting “l’Shanah Tovah” (May you have a good year). This way of saying hello is a blessing.

•Rosh ha-Shanah cards create an atmosphere and make the holiday part of your relationships.

•A round hallah. On Shabbat and most Jewish

holidays Jews begin their meal by blessing a special braided loaf of bread called “hallah.” On Rosh haShanah we use a round hallah, symbolizing the circle of life.

•Tashlikh. On the afternoon of the first day of

Rosh ha-Shanah it is a tradition to walk to a body of water and empty breadcrumbs out of our pockets. This is a way of acting out our desire to throw away our sins and be washed clean.

Things you can do: Here are four things you can do to make Rosh haShanah come alive. Try to start with at least one.

•Send and collect Shanah Tovah cards. •Use the greeting “l’Shanah Tovah”

(Have a good year).

•Have a special dinner on the night leading into Rosh ha-Shanah and use a round hallah or apples and honey.

•Go to a service and

hear the blowing of the shofar.

Yom Kippur Yom Kippur is the “Day of Atonement.” Atonement really does mean becoming “at one.” Atonement is based on a simple insight. The feelings and the memories left over from the times when we have “missed the mark” (called “sin” in some translations) interfere in our relationships with each other and with God. Yom Kippur is a day devoted to ridding ourselves of our worst past so we can head toward our best possible future. This process of soul cleansing is done through “inner work.” Yom Kippur has a series of practices that aid this process.

•Fasting. Through not eating or drinking from sunset to

sunset the emphasis is taken off the body. We learn that our best self can control all of our appetites.

•Confession. Jewish confession is very different from

what Catholics do. On Yom Kippur we read a list of ways of “missing the mark” in services. Each of these is in the first person plural. For example, we say, “We have acted treasonably, aggressively and slanderously.” We do not tell our worst actions to a clergy person. We collectively tell them to God, individually.

Community. Yom Kippur is a day that is spent in synagogue. We are supported by friends and family. We are lifted and sustained by being in community.

Things you can do: Here are three things that would help to make Yom Kippur really meaningful for your child. Try to do at least one. You might even manage all three.

•Have an “I’m sorry” conversation as a family. Share the things that you are most sorry that you did last year. Talk about the things you need to do to prevent them from happening again.

•Have a “child fast.” Try switching a light snack for a formal breakfast.

•Attend at least some part of Yom Kippur services. A children’s or family service may be the perfect choice.


5681-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:35 AM

Page 3

Sukkot Living in cities and suburbs we sometimes forget about the moon. Rosh ha-Shanah is on the first day of the month of Tishrei. It is at the time of a new moon, a moon we cannot really see. Sukkot begins on the fifteenth day of the month. It is at the time of a moon that is full, a harvest moon. A sukkah is a booth (sometimes called a “tabernacle”). Sukkot means booths (and the holiday is sometimes called “The Feast of Tabernacles”). There are three different stories that explain Sukkot.

•The Families-of-Israel camped in booths (and tents) during their forty years in the

wilderness. Sukkot helps us remember the time between the exodus from Egypt and the time when the Families-of-Israel entered the Promised Land.

•The farmers of ancient Israel camped in booths during the harvest season. Sukkot helps us remember to thank God for the food that comes from the earth.

•The Families-of-Israel camped in booths when they came up to Jerusalem for a

pilgrimage. Three times a year Jews came up to Jerusalem to bring part of their crops to the Temple. Sukkot helps us remember that all Jews used to go annually to Jerusalem to give their thanks to God. There are many Sukkot customs. Among the most important are:

•Sitting, eating and maybe even sleeping in a sukkah. This puts us directly in touch with

nature. It also makes it easy for us to relive the three Sukkot stories.

•Blessing and shaking an etrog and a lulav. The etrog is a

lemonlike fruit. The lulav is a combination of three branches—palm, willow and myrtle. Many different meanings have been given to this ritual.

•There are special services and special prayers said on the

first day (or two) and the last day (or two1) of the holiday. Sukkot is seven (or eight) days long. The day after Sukkot is a holiday, too. It is called Sh’mini Atzeret (the eighth day holiday).

Things you can do: Here are a few things that can really make Sukkot come alive for your child. Start with one. See how many you can do.

•Visit or, even better, have a meal in a sukkah. It would be

wonderful if you could make a decoration to hang in a sukkah. Your synagogue will have a sukkah. Your synagogue may also have a list of people who would love to have sukkah guests.

•Bless and shake a lulav. Your rabbi would love to help you

and your child try this out. Just ask.

•Go to a Sukkot service or a Shabbat service during Sukkot. It will be a perfect time to visit a sukkah.

Reform Jews celebrate all Jewish holidays (except maybe Rosh ha-Shanah) for one day. Most other Jews outside of the land of Israel celebrate Jewish holidays for two days.

1


5681-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:32 AM

Page 4

Being a Religous School Parent (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)

Simhat Torah

take things out of the dresser drawer, and tell the stories. If you are learning things for the first time, that, too, is a wonderful truth to share. If you have questions or doubts, these, too, should be part of the discussions.

Torah is at the heart of Judaism. Its stories are at the core of our Jewish identity. Its rules are the foundation of the way we live as Jews. We read the Torah every week, one portion a week. It takes a whole Jewish year to complete the cycle of the Torah. Simhat Torah (meaning “rejoicing over the Torah”) is the day on which we read both the last portion and the first portion of the Torah. Simhat Torah is the day that makes Torah the neverending story of the Jewish people.

2

Participate in Jewish life. Over the course of the year your family practice should echo the things being studied in class. If you already do these things, that’s wonderful. If you have never done them before, we will be providing tools to help you get started. It would be really good if you did at least one thing to celebrate each Jewish holiday, create some weekly sense of the Sabbath and create a Jewish part of your bedtime ritual. This can all be done step by step. This year is a great time to start. You should think about starting one thing at a time. We will help.

3

Simhat Torah is a wonderful time to go to synagogue. It is a real celebration. There is singing and dancing with the Torah. Kids march around with flags, and everyone has a great time.

Add Jewish books to your read-aloud rotation. We bet that you already read to your child at bedtime or some other time. You already know that this is both an important and fun thing to do. One of the most important things you can do is add some Jewish books into the rotation. Your synagogue librarian would love to help you find books.

Things you can do:

Make friends with “the teacher.” Form a relationship with your child’s religious school teacher. Know (his) her name. Make sure that he or she knows your name and that he or she can call on you when help is needed. Your home should be an extension of the classroom, and good communications make that easy. (A good relationship also makes it easy to fix problems.)

Make your own Simhat Torah flag. Decorate it with your own Torah symbols.

4 5

Don’t try to be Jewish alone. Find another family or two you can share things with. It is easier to go to synagogue when you go with friends. It is easier to create Jewish experiences when two or more families do it together. The best way to do something new is to be able to do it with a friend. This year will be much more fun if you find a partner or two.

Here are three things you can do to make Simhat Torah come alive for you and your child.

•Have your own Torah festival

at home. Read some Torah stories together. Maybe even read the last and then the first chapter in a book of Torah stories.

• •

Go to synagogue on Simhat Torah. Go expecting to have a really good time. Go knowing that this will be a wonderful memory for your child.

COPYRIGHT © 2000. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> • WEBSITE WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5498-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:57 AM

Page 1

Yom Kippur could be called “I’m Sorry Day.” It is the day of the year when we ask for God’s help in fixing the mistakes we have made. It is the one day we spend all day trying to become the best people we can be. On Yom Kippur we remember the times we have hurt other people. We say “I’m sorry” to each other and to God. Yom Kippur is a day when Jews fast—they do not eat or drink all day. A tallit is a prayer shawl. It has four corners. úéìÄèÇ On each corner there are tzitziot (fringes) with knots. These knots remind us of the mitzvot that God has given us. Usually Jews wear a tallit only during the day at services. On Yom Kippur many Jews wear a tallit both day and night. Tallit begins with the letter è (Tet).


5498-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:45 PM

Page 2

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO OVER?

Yom is the first half of this name of the holiday. Yom is the Hebrew word for day. Kippur is the second half of this holiday’s name. It comes from Kaper, a Hebrew word that means atonement. Atonement is apologizing for the things we have done wrong so that we may be at one with God again. On Yom Kippur God gives us the chance to try again.

Al Het: We all try to be good people. We know that we are supposed to be kind, patient, loving and forgiving. Sometimes we do not do the best job. Sometimes we miss the mark. The Hebrew word het means “missing the mark.” It is like shooting a bow and arrow and not hitting the bullseye. During the Al Het prayer, we beat our chest and remember the times we missed the mark. We aim our lives towards the new year.


5498-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:46 PM

Page 3

Circle all the è Tet letters.

Tallit begins with the letter è (Tet).

My Al Het This year I missed the mark by

Hurting people with words.

è eè qè x r A lot

Not sharing.

Some

A little

Not at All

WHAT DO WE…

WEAR

Not listening to my parents and teachers.

BEAT

ON YOM KIPPUR?


5498-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:46 PM

Page 4

Cross out the places Billy missed the mark. Circle the mitzvot that Billy did.

ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, ALLAN EITZEN AND BONNIE GORDON-LUCAS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5496-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:04 AM

Page 1

HAVE YOU EVER EATEN IN A SUKKAH?

Sukkot is a time for Jewish camping. A sukkah is a temporary house. It has a roof of branches and you can see the stars through the roof. It is a mitzvah to eat in the sukkah and even to sleep there.

áìÈeì

We take the branches of the willow, the myrtle and the palm and put them together to make a lulav. On Sukkot we take the lulav and a yellow fruit called an etrog and shake them in every direction.This reminds us that God is everywhere. Lulav begins with a ì (Lamed).


5496-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:05 AM

Page 2

WHY

WE LEAVE After the Jews left Egypt, DID EGYPT ? they spent forty years camping in the wilderness. When they moved into Eretz Yisrael they became farmers.

HOW DOES GOD HELP US GROW FOOD

At Home

Sometimes farmers lived in sukkot by their fields when they harvested. Today, we decorate our sukkot with fruit and vegetables. These remind us of the harvest and to thank God for helping us grow food to eat.

Try to eat a meal in a sukkah. You might build one, visit one or use the one at the synagogue. Here is the blessing for eating in a sukkah.

íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .äkÜq‰a— áLÙéìÅ eðeöÄåŠ åéú˜BöÀîÄa eðLÈcš÷” øLÆà Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivany le-shev ba-sukkah. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Cosmos Who makes it a mitzvah for us to spend time in the sukkah.


5496-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:06 AM

Page 3

Lulav begins with a ĂŹ (Lamed).

An etrog is a fruit that looks and smells like a lemon. Etrogim grow in Israel.

WHAT DO WEâ&#x20AC;Ś

BUILD

SHAKE

REMEMBER

ON SUKKOT ?

After the harvest, Jews brought their fruits and vegetables to the Temple in Jerusalem. This was called a pilgrimage. Many Jews camped in sukkot during their pilgrimage.


5496-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:04 PM

Page 4

Help the Etrog Find its Lulav

COPYRIGHT © 2000. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> • WEBSITE WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5500-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:47 AM

HAVE YOU

EVER TOUCHED A SEFER TORAH?

Page 1

Every Saturday morning you can go to synagogue and watch a Torah parade. A Torah parade is called a hakafah. Once a year we have a major Torah parade. On Simhat Torah we march around the synagogue at least seven times. We sing, we dance, we carry the Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls) and wave flags. Simhat Torah is the day we learn that the Torah makes a circle.

Degel is the Hebrew word for flag. On Simhat Torah each child is given a degel to carry during the hakafot. These flags are carried when we sing and dance and march with the Torah. They help to make Simhat Torah into a Torah party. Degel starts with the letter ã (Dalet).

ìâ†ã

HOW DOES TORAH MAKE A CIRCLE?

THE


5500-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:53 PM

Page 2

We read a part of the Torah every week. Every week we learn stories and laws from the Torah. It takes a whole year to read the Torah from beginning to end. Simhat Torah is the day when we read the last part of the Torah. It is also the day we read the first part of the Torah. WHAT TORAH STORIES CAN YOU NAME? WHAT TORAH LAWS CAN YOU NAME?

THE HEBREW WORD SIMHAH MEANS “JOY.” A WEDDING, A BAR OR BAT MITZVAH, A BIRTHDAY OR ANY OTHER HAPPY EVENT IS OFTEN CALLED “A SIMHAH.”

WHAT DO WE…

As soon as we are done reading the end of the Torah we start all over again. The Torah is like a circle because we never stop studying it. SIMHAT TORAH?

ON

SEE

WAVE

DANCE


5500-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:53 PM

Page 3

Degel begins with the letter ã (Dalet).

Turn this ã (Dalet) into a degel.

ã ã IT’S REALLY FUN

TO MAKE YOUR OWN DEGEL FOR SIMHAT TORAH. HOW WOULD YOU DECORATE YOURS?

HOW IS THE TORAH LIKE A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD?


5500-1.qxd

04/19/2004

3:54 PM

Page 4

Color the heart red. Color the Bet purple. Color the circle orange. Color the Lamed blue.

THE CIRCLE OF THE TORAH The Hebrew word “lev” means heart. It is made up of two letters, ì Lamed and a Bet. The last word in the Torah is Yisrael, “Israel.” It ends in a ì Lamed. The first word in the Torah is bereshit, “beginnings.” It begins with a a Bet. We go from the last sentence in the Torah to the first, we go from the ì Lamed to the a Bet. When we make a circle out of the Torah, we form the Hebrew word áìÅ “lev.” Torah teaches us how to have a big heart.

áì

ILLUSTRATIONS BY PATTI BOYD AND CAROLINE DAVITA. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5501-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:01 PM

WHAT CAN YOU FIND IN A TORAH?

Page 1

The Torah is the special gift that God gave the Jewish people. It teaches us how to be good. From the Torah we learn how to make the world a better place. When we study Torah we get closer to God. Because the Torah is so special, we dress it with beautiful coverings and decorate it with gold and silver.

Torah means “the teaching.” The Torah can be written down in a book or it can be written äøBz by hand, in Hebrew, on scrolls of parchment. It takes nine months to write the Torah by hand. The person who writes down the Torah is called a sofer, a scribe. Torah starts with the Hebrew letter z (Tav).


5501-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:44 AM

Page 2

DRESS THIS TORAH Draw a line connecting each piece of Torah clothing to the right place on the Torah.

In ancient times the High Priest of Israel wore a breast plate. It was his special badge. Today we dress the Torah with a beautiful breast plate. The Hebrew word for breast plate is Hoshen.

Yad is the Hebrew word for hand. We use a silver pointer we call a yad to read the Torah. It keeps our finger from smearing the ink.

HOW IS THE TORAH LIKE A KING OR QUEEN?

We dress the Torah in a crown like a king or a queen. We call a Torah crown a Keter.

Sometimes we put a crown on each of the wooden rollers. We call them Rimonim. Many crowns and many rimonim have bells.


5501-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:06 PM

Page 3

Torah starts with the Hebrew letter z (Tav).

Circle the z (Tav) letters.

z

z z THINGS WE DO TO SHOW RESPECT FOR THE TORAH

Dress it like a king or queen. Stand when the ark is opened. Use a siddur or a tallit to kiss the Torah. Cover our heads with a kippah when we read or study it. Say brakhot (blessings) before and after reading from it.

z HOW DO YOU SHOW RESPECT FOR A PERSON?


5501-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:03 PM

Page 4

These Torah scrolls are all dressed and ready.

These Torah scrolls are missing some parts. Draw and name those missing aparts.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, PAIGE BILLIN-FRYE AND CAROLINE DEVITA. PHOTOGRAPH BY JULES PORTER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. • VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW..TORAHAURA.COM


5507-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:11 PM

Page 1

A bayit is a house. HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS IS A SYNAGOGUE LIKE A HOUSE?

HOW MANY DIFFERENT THINGS HAVE YOU DONE AT YOUR SYNAGOGUE?

A synagogue is a beit k’nesset, a house or place where people gather. It is also a beit tefillah, a place where people pray. A third name for a synagogue is beit midrash, a place where people study.

What is a synagogue? It is a place where Jews come together to pray, to study and to be a community. Many Jews cover their heads. It is a Jewish custom to cover your head when you eat, study and pray. A kippah reminds us that God is always above and around us. Kippah begins with the Hebrew letter k (Kaf).

ätÈkÄ


5507-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:12 PM

Page 2

DO YOU KNOW ANY PRAYERS BY HEART?

The synagogue is a place to pray. We open up our siddurim (prayerbooks) and point our hearts towards God. With words, with song, and with silence we think about our lives. WHAT THINGS HAVE YOU LEARNED AT YOUR SYNAGOGUE?

The synagogue is a place to learn. Small children, teenagers and adults of all ages study in a synagogue. It is a place where we open the Torah and look at its meanings.

The synagogue is a place to celebrate. We have our parties there and we see our friends there. We even gather in the synagogue when sad things happen. WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN YOUR SYNAGOGUE?


5507-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:12 PM

Page 3

The synagogue is also a place where we can make the world better. Some synagogue communities collect food for those who are hungry. Others collect clothing for people who need clothes. Some even build homes for people who are homeless. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF

Circle the k (Kaf) letters that point the right way.

k

k k k k

k

Kippah begins with the Hebrew letter k (Kaf).

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL

k k

k

k

kk

k k k


06/11/08 10:10 AM

A synagogue is more than a building. It is where a community gathers. HOW IS A SYNAGOGUE LIKE A FAMILY?

Match the activities to the house of study, house of gathering and house of prayer.

Beit Tefillah Beit Knesset Beit Midrash

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER AND GAY BLOCK. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> • VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM

5507-1.qxd Page 4

A home is more than a house. It is where a family lives.


5518-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:41 AM

Page 1

HOW CAN A DAY BE LIKE A BRIDE?

HOW CAN A DAY BE LIKE A QUEEN?

God created the world in six days and rested on the Seventh Day. The Seventh Day is called Shabbat. God made it a mitzvah for us to rest on Shabbat, too. Shabbat is like a bride. Shabbat is like a queen. We greet this queen on Erev Shabbat, Friday night. At home and in synagogue we welcome and greet Shabbat. God began creating the world by saying, “Let there be light.” We also begin Shabbat by creating light. We light two candles and say a blessing. Lighting these candles divides Shabbat from the rest of the week. In Hebrew, candles are called nerot. Nerot begins with the Hebrew letter ð (Nun).

úBøð…


5518-1.qxd

04/22/2004

11:49 AM

Page 2

On Erev Shabbat Jews celebrate at the Shabbat table. Here are some of the things we do on Erev Shabbat: Bless the members of the family. It is a tradition for parents to give brakhot (blessings) to their sons and daughers.

WHAT THINGS DOES YOUR FAMILY DO ON SHABBAT?

Kiss and greet each other, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shabbat Shalom.â&#x20AC;? Make kiddush, a blessing said over wine or juice.

Say ha-Motzi. Ha-Motzi is the brakhah that is said over bread. On Shabbat we use a special loaf of braided bread called hallah.


5518-1.qxd

04/22/2004

11:53 AM

Page 3

Circle all the ð (Nun) letters.

ð

Nerot begins with the Hebrew letter ð (Nun). WHAT DO WE… LIGHT

DRINK

EAT

ON EREV SHABBAT?

At Home

k

ì ð

ðì ð ð ã

Kiddush means holy. When we bless and drink the wine we think about the holiness of Shabbat.

íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .ïôÆbˆä— éø‹tÀ àøŒBa Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, borei pri ha-gafen. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, Who creates the fruit of the vine.


5518-1.qxd

04/22/2004

At Home

11:51 AM

Page 4

This is ha-Motzi, the blessing before the meal.

íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .õøàÈä˜ ïîÄ íç–ìÆ àéöÄBnä— Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, ha-Motzi lehem min ha-Aretz. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, The One Who brings forth bread from the earth.

Find the Differences Find all the differences you can between these Shabbat pictures.

Circle the things that changed.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, ALLAN EITZEN AND DAVID BLEICHER. PHOTOGRAPH BY FAIGE KOBRE. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5683-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:39 AM

Page 1

The Shabbat of “Yes” Imagine that you and your family could spend a day in the Garden of Eden. It would be better than any Club Med reality. Nature would be pristine, beautiful. None of the destructive edges of civilization would be apparent. No pollution. No thoughtlessness. It would offer perfect rest, peace. There would be time to talk and play—and most importantly, you would even have the luxury of doing nothing. For most of us, that vacation is the fantasy we seek. We imagine it on tropical islands or created by the isolation of expensive resorts. The Jewish tradition imagined a weekly visit to the Garden of Eden. The tradition, however, didn’t imagine that we had to travel to such a place. Rather, it believed that we could create such a time on our own. Shabbat is seen as a visit to the Garden of Eden. It is designed to be an oasis of rest in an endless responsibilities of work and obligations. Shabbat is supposed to be a connection to nature in a world that is too often shaped, manipulated and manufactured. It is supposed to be family time, soul time, reflective time that presses the pause button on a world that rushes by too fast.

The Shabbat of “No” People often think of Shabbat as a world of “nos.” No driving, no cooking, etc. If you run a children’s summer camp, the world of electronics demands a lot of choices. Which of the following electronic devices will you allow a camper to bring: radio, Gameboy, cell phone, pager, laptop, Palm Pilot, TV, DVD player, etc? Different camps draw the boundaries in different places and in different ways, but a boundary is needed. Some camps limit what can be brought, others limit the times it can be used. But if you do not say no to some of modern technology in some way, camp will not be camp. continued on page 2

The Sabbath

Technical civilization is human conquest of space…In technical civilization, we expend time to gain space…To gain control of the world of space is certainly one of our tasks. Technical civilization stems primarily from the human desire to subdue and manage the forces of nature. The manufacture of tools, the art of spinning and farming, the building of houses, the craft of sailing—all this goes on in our spatial surroundings… We are all infatuated with the splendor of space, with the grandeur of things of space. T hing is a category that lies heavy on our mind… The result of our thinginess is our blindness to all reality that fails to identify itself as a thing, a matter of fact. This is obvious in our understanding of time, which, being thingless and insubstantial, appears to us as if it had no reality. The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments. Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time… Judaism teaches us to be attached to holiness in time, to be attached to sacred events, to learn how to consecrate sanctuaries that emerge from the magnificent stream of a year. The Sabbaths are our great cathedrals… The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of the things of space, on the Sa bbath we try to become attuned to the holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation, from the world of creation to the creation of the world. A.J. Heschel, The Sabbath


5683-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:39 AM

Page 2

The forest will be missed among the display screens. The friendships will be obscured by the headphones. Based on some rules taught in the Torah—“No work on Shabbat,” “No building fires on Shabbat”—the Jewish tradition built up a number of Shabbat prohibitions. These rules were the attempt to isolate a day in order to make sure that Shabbat is not obscured through the busyness that often takes over our lives. Like camps with differing electronics policies, the different streams of Judaism established differing Shabbat rules. None of these were meant to deprive—rather they were intended to slow the world down and create the time in which a holy day could thrive.

Shabbat Has Two Different Stories Every holiday has a story. Shabbat has two. The Torah tells us that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Shabbat was The Seventh Day. Rest was the last step in creation. We rest on Shabbat because God rested on Shabbat. The Torah teaches that God wants us to rest for a second reason: “We were slaves in Egypt.” Shabbat is a celebration of our liberation. Shabbat testifies that we have the freedom to work and the freedom not to work. Most of the things we do on Shabbat act out these stories.

Friday Night Giving Tzedakah Traditionally, the home Shabbat ritual begins with putting some coins in a tzedakah box. Traditional Jews do not carry money on Shabbat. (This is one of the “no” parts of Shabbat.) This giving of tzedakah started as a way of making sure that there was no change in their pockets. Having your own family weekly tzedakah ritual is a powerful value statement. The beginning of Shabbat becomes a wonderful time to reiterate (over and over) that your family cares about other people.

Lighting Candles Candle lighting is a simple act that carries a lot of emotional significance. The actual “performance” includes: (a) lighting candles, (b) circling the flames with your hands about three times drawing their light into your eyes, (c) saying the blessing, (d) uncovering your eyes, and then (e) hugging and kissing each other, saying “Shabbat Shalom.” Two things are going on at once. The two candles stand for two stories of Shabbat—God’s Creation and the liberation from Egypt. Their light stands for God’s light. It is a way of reminding us that God is near us. But there is more. We light candles because Jewish days begin at night. We know that because the Torah says “There was evening and then there was morning” over and over in the first chapter of Genesis. Lighting candles connects us to God’s creative process. But there is still more. The covering the eyes part of the ritual reminds us that Shabbat is a holy time. One of the Shabbat rules is “No lighting fire.” If we said the blessing (making it Shabbat) and then lit the candles, we would be breaking the “no fire” rule. This way, we light, play “peek-a-boo” with the flame and then bless—afterward we discover the light of Shabbat. But here is the bottom line. Candles mean more than can be explained in words. The flickering flames carry their own message.

Blessing of the Children Parents place their hands on their children’s heads. They whisper a few private words. They recite a short ancient formula. Then there is a hug and a kiss. Blessings are statements of love. They are also wish-statements, voicing of our hopes. We often get to tell our children that we love them. We don’t as often tell them that we wish the best for them, that “wishing” is often drowned out by the hubbub of daily life and in the protective commands of our best parenting skills.


5683-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:40 AM

Page 3

Kiddush

Things to Do

Kadosh means holy. The Kiddush is a prayer that reminds us to make the Shabbat day holy and completely different than other days. Because it is hard to hold a day in our hands, we use wine. We lift a cup of wine (or juice) and use it to talk about the Shabbat. The wine becomes the symbol of the day.

It is much easier to do something once a year than it is once a week. Adopting a Shabbat pattern requires more of a commitment than one day of fasting or making great Purim costumes. But the impact on your family, when you find time to be together every week, is dramatically greater. Here are some great ways of beginning to create a family Shabbat.

Ha-Mozti Ha-Mozti is the blessing over bread. On Shabbat it is traditional to make our Motzi over a hallah, a braided loaf of egg bread. The hallah tells many stories. It takes us back to the Temple in Jerusalem where braided loaves were part of the ritual. And it takes us back to the forty years in the wilderness where God fed us with manna. On Shabbat the hallah stands for the manna.

Saturday

Saturday Services Saturday morning is the big synagogue service of the week. It is traditional to have a service every morning, but on weekdays it is a short service so that everyone can get to work. Only on Shabbat mornings (and on holidays) is there time to spread out. On Shabbat morning we read the Torah and have more time to pray.

Three Meals Food has a major role in every Jewish celebration. Shabbat is no different. It is a mitzvah to have three Shabbat meals (and breakfast doesn’t count). Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch, and a late afternoon meal on Saturday (leading up to sundown) are all wonderful opportunities to gather as a family and with friends. The meals provide chances to talk, sing, and tell stories.

Havdalah Havdalah means division. It is a very short, beautiful service that takes place on Saturday night after three stars appear in the sky. Shabbat ends much as it begins. We use a candle, spices, and wine to divide between the end of Shabbat and the beginning of the regular week. We carefully leave the Garden of Eden and return to our workaday responsibilities.

•Make Friday night bedtime

different from the rest of the week. Make it a time of reading Jewish books and having special conversations.

•Start a weekly five-minute Shabbat table service. Do the blessings over candles, wine, children, and bread. This can grow into much more as you are ready.

•Make Shabbat with friends.

Gather two, three, four or five (or even more) families together and create a wonderful Erev Shabbat (Friday night) experience.

•Find out if your congregation does family Shabbat events and check them out.

•Gather a number of families, find

someone who can help, and plan a Havdalah event. You can even build it around star gazing with your children. After all, Havdalah starts by finding three stars.

•Look at The Art of Jewish Living,

The Shabbat Seder by Dr. Ron Wolfson (Jewish Lights) or Forty Things You Can Do to Save the Jewish People by Joel Lurie Grishaver (Alef Design Group) and get wonderful ideas on how to start creating a family Shabbat experience.


5683-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:28 PM

Page 4

Shabbat Table Service åéú˜BöÀîÄa eðLÈcš÷” øLÆà íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .úa˜LÇ ìLÆ øð… ÷éìÄãšä—ìÀ eðeöÄåŠ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, Asher Kidshanu B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu l’Hadlik Ner shel Shabbat. Praised are You, Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, who made us holy through the mitzvot, and made it a mitzvah to kindle the Shabbat lights.

.Fp†ç™éå‹ EéìÆàÅ åéðˆtÈ éé øàÅé .EøîÀLÀé‹åŠ éé EëÀøáÈéŠ .íBìLÈ EìÀ íNÙéåŠ .EéìÆàÅ åéðˆtÈ éé àOÜé‹ Y’varekh’kha Adonai v’Yishm’rekha. Ya’er Adonai Panav Elekha vi’Huneka. Yisa Adonai Panav Elekha v’Yasem l’kha Shalom. May the Eternal bless you and guard you. May the Eternal shine the Divine light upon you and be good to you. May the Eternal face you and give you peace.

.ïôÆbˆä— éø‹tÀ àøŒBa íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, Borei Pri ha-Gafen. Praised are You, Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, Who creates the fruit of the vine.

.õøàÈä˜ ïîÄ íç–ìÆ àéöÄBnä— ,íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, ha-Motzi Lehem min ha-Aretz. Praised are You, Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, DAVID BLEICHER, LAURA CORNELL AND SUZETTE BARBIER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5519-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:39 PM

Page 1

When God created the world, God started at night. First there was evening and then there was morning. WHY DO J EWISH DAYS Because of that, Jewish days start START AT NIGHT? at night. We start Shabbat by lighting candles at sundown on Friday. Shabbat ends on Saturday night when the new week begins. Shabbat ends with a ceremony called Havdalah. We start Shabbat with three things: candles, wine, and a twisted loaf of hallah. We end Shabbat with three things: a twisted candle, wine, and spices.

WHY DO YOU THINK GOD STARTED TO CREATE AT NIGHT?

On Saturday evening we say Havdalah. It is äìÈãŸáä— the ceremony that divides Shabbat from the week. On Friday evening we light Shabbat candles to welcome the beginning of Shabbat. On Saturday night we put out the Havdalah candle by dipping it in wine. The word Havdalah begins with the Hebrew letter ä (Hey).


5519-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:22 PM

Page 2

Shabbat is longer than any other day in the week. We start it a little bit early, almost an hour before sundown. We try to stretch it as long as possible. Shabbat ends with Havdalah when we can count three stars in the sky. Havdalah has four prayers. The first prayer is said over wine. WHAT CAN WE

LEARN FROM DRINKING THE SWEET WINE?

WHAT DO WE REMEMBER DURING THE HAVDALAH SERVICE?

The second prayer is said over the spices. We shake the spicebox and let everyone have a sniff. Smells help us remember the sweetness of Shabbat. The third blessing is said over the braided candle. We watch its glow on our finger nails. We watch the shadows of our fingers in the light. WHY DO WE TRY TO CATCH THE LIGHT OF THE HAVDALAH CANDLE?


5519-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:23 PM

Page 3

Havdalah starts with the Hebrew letter ä (Hey).

The greeting for the end of Shabbat is “Shavua Tov,” have a good week.

WHAT OTHER JEWISH GREETINGS DO YOU KNOW?

We say a fourth blessing over the things God has divided. Then we drink some wine and put out the Havdalah candle.

WHAT DO WE… DRINK

SMELL

SEE

DURING HAVDALAH?


5519-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:24 PM

Page 4

Help to end Shabbat by circling the three stars with a ä.

ì

è ð

ì

ä

ä è

è ð

ä

ð

GOD MAKES HAVDALAH. SO DO YOU. WHAT THINGS DO YOU DIVIDE?

WHAT DID GOD DIVIDE? God divided light from ________________________________. God divided day from _________________________________. God divided Shabbat from _____________________________. God divided holy from_________________________________.

ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND SUZETTE BARBIER. PHOTOGRAPH BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5672-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:39 PM

Page 1

Everyone thinks and wonders about God. When Abraham was a boy there was a wicked king. Abraham had to hide in a cave to stay alive. While he was in the cave he did a lot of thinking. He thought about God. Abraham saw the sun and it was hot and bright. The sun gave off light. Abraham said to himself, “The sun must be god.” Abraham prayed to the sun. But the wind blew a cloud in front of the sun and things got darker. Abraham said, “The wind must be god.” He prayed to the wind. When night came, the wind stopped and the moon came up in the sky. Abraham said, “The moon must be god.” Abraham prayed to the moon. Then the morning came and the moon went down. The sun came out again. Suddenly Abraham understood. He said, “There must be one God. One God created the sun and the moon. The same God made the wind and the clouds. And the same God made me and the wicked king DO YOU EVER THINK and everyone.” Abraham was ABOUT GOD? WHAT THINGS DO YOU THINK? the first Jew.


5672-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:41 PM

Page 2

TALKING TO GOD

WHERE DO YOU TALK TO GOD? WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

A prayer is a talk with God. Sometimes we talk to God when we are alone, and sometimes we pray to God in a gathering of many Jews. Sometimes we speak to God straight from our hearts in our own words. Other times we speak words that Jews have used for thousands of years. Our own words can reach God. Prayerbook words too can lead our hearts to God. God always listens to us.

THANKING GOD God gives us many gifts. A gift is a brakhah, a blessing. A brakhah is also a thank you prayer. We say a brakhah whenever we realize that God has given us a brakhah. Jews have brakhot to say over food and drink. Jews have brakhot to say over beautiful sights and even over scary things like thunder. Every time we realize that God has done something we say a brakhah. THERE ARE MANY MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED BRAKHOT. HOW MANY DO YOU KNOW?


04/19/2004

4:40 PM

Page 3

HAVING A DEAL WITH GOD Brit is the Hebrew word for a deal. The Jewish people have a brit with God. We promised to become a holy people by following all the laws in the Torah, and God promised to take care of us and give us the Land of Israel as a home. The brit between God and Israel was made at Mt. Sinai. God spoke the Ten Commandments. We said, “Na’aseh v’nishma,” “We will do whatever God asks.” Moses then got the Torah. Since then we have tried to learn and keep all the mitzvot in the Torah. That is our part of the brit. WHAT PARTS OF THE TORAH DO YOU DO BECAUSE YOU HAVE A DEAL WITH GOD?

GOD IS ONE WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE ABOUT GOD? CORINNE DUFKA, REUTERS/BETTMAN

5672-1.qxd

God is very confusing. God is everywhere in the world and at the same time God is in your heart. God created everything we can see, touch or know. At the same time God knows you in your own special way. God was before there was a before. God will be after everything we can think of. We can’t explain God. We can’t fully understand God. THE S HEMA But we can know SAYS one important thing, GTHAT OD IS ONE. “God is one.” The God CAN YOU SAY THE that is in my heart is SHEMA ? also in your heart.


5672-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:40 PM

Page 4

Being God’s Partner The Torah teaches that every person is created in God’s image. This does not mean that we look like God. It means that we can act like God. We can help God make the world a perfect place. Circle the things that make us God’s partners.

Get a high score on a video game Listen to a friend who is sad

Build a house for a homeless family

Give tzedakah WHAT OTHER THINGS DO YOU DO THAT MAKES YOU GOD’S PARTNER?

Visit a friend who is sick

ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND DAVID BLEICHER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5685-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:44 PM

Page 1

What does it teach us? A lot. Especially about the ways we can see “God’s influence” in our lives if we get our heads “out of the mud.” One of the best ways to teach about God is to study stories. Stories give us a way to talk. One of the truths of this story is that the reality of God in the world depends on where you are looking and what you choose to see. No one knows anything for sure about God. Knowing about God takes faith.

Don’t Be Scared The top of this page uses the word “God”; don’t be scared. God is actually really easy to talk about—as long as you remember that “I think,” “I hope,” and “I don’t know” are perfectly good answers. Talking about God with a child is just like talking about God with adults (except for vocabulary). It is not your job to lie. It is not your job to solve all theological problems. It is not your job to explain everything. Your only responsibility is to be willing to talk about the things your child wants to talk about. If you do all that, you can do nothing wrong—and you will get better at this.

A Story Two Jews, Shimon and Reuven, escaped from Egypt and made it to the Red Sea with the rest of the six hundred thousand. The Red Sea divided. Everyone began to cross. The sea towered on either side of the path—huge flows of water frozen into solid walls. A miracle. Shimon and Reuven crossed in the middle of the pack. They only looked down at their feet. They did not see the miracle; all they saw was mud. All the way across they complained about the mud: “In Egypt we had to make bricks out of mud. God brings us here and we are still in the mud.” Everyone else saw the miracle, but they saw mud (Exodus 24.1). What does that story mean? A lot of different things.

In the BJL Beginnings God lesson your children are studying, they will talk about five things.

• Talking to God • Thanking God • Having a Deal with God • God is One • Being God’s Partner In this parent’s guide we are going to share a story about each one. Each story will give you a way to talk to your child about these issues. We suggest you do the following.

1 2 3 4

Slowly, over many nights, read the classroom folder with your child.

Encourage your children to ask all the questions they want to ask, to share all the thoughts they want to share. The best way to give them permission to share is by sharing your own thoughts. Use the stories in this parent’s guide to supplement the material in the classroom folder. Read and discuss these stories. You do not have to have the right answer to all of the questions that follow each story. You do not even have to use these questions. They are only guides. The hope is, however, that these stories will be a trigger to talking about these issues. Don’t expect to use this whole folder at once. Do no more than one story a night. Give it room to breathe and let questions and ideas percolate. This process can take weeks. Enjoy it and don’t rush it.


5685-1.qxd

04/19/2004

4:46 PM

Page 2

Talking to God One morning Rabbi Levi Yitzhak was praying with his students. Near the end of the service, after the silent prayers called the Amidah, Rabbi Levi came running over to three students who were standing in the back. Loudly he said to them, “Welcome. Nice to see you. Glad you are here.” The men look surprised. They said quietly to the rabbi, “But we’ve been here since the service started.” “We were here on time, we didn’t come late or anything.” Rabbi Levi smiled and said to them, “Don’t be surprised. During the prayers you were imagining yourself in the market in Odessa, selling the coats you had just made. You were in the wool market in Lodz making a great deal. And you,” he said to the third man, “I don’t know where you were, but it certainly wasn’t on a journey led by the prayers. But now that we have reached the end of the service, you three are back here, and I wanted to welcome you” (Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, Samuel H. Dresner, Hartmore House).

1 2 3

What were these men doing during services? Where are you supposed to go when you are praying?

What are your secrets for making a prayer reach God?

These last two questions do not have right answers. Many Jews have answered them in many different ways. What is important is that you and your child can talk about them, not that you or your child believe you have the secret of having prayers answered. Our single goal for this part of the unit is to have your child know that “wanting to talk to God” is a very Jewish thing.

Thanking God Here is a story about thanking God. King David wrote the book of Psalms. These were 150 songs about every feeling he had about God. Every one of these songs praised God in a different way. He was very proud. He said, “Surely there is no creature who has praised God more completely than I have. No one has ever written better songs of praise.” At that very moment a frog hopped up on his porch and said, “David, don’t be so proud. I can sing songs and praises that are greater than yours” (Perek Shirah, Introduction).

1 2 3

David was very serious about praising God. He looked and looked at the world and wrote down every good thing he could see. According to this story, what did he do wrong? How can a frog’s song praise God?

What is the best way for us to praise God?

The idea of thanking God is an important issue. Jews do thank God as part of many prayers. But more importantly, Jews try to lead a life that thanks God for all of the blessings we have received. We do that by being just. And we do that by trying to make sure that all people receive the blessings and essentials they need.


5685-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:44 AM

Page 3

Having a Deal with God A rabbi once called a member of his congregation. He called him over and over, and this congregant would not call him back. Finally the rabbi called him up and left a message. He said, “Please tell him that a mutual relative has died, and he has left us a huge inheritance.” Almost as soon as the rabbi had hung up, the phone rang. The congregant was on the line. He wanted to know who had died. He wanted to know all about the value of the inheritance. The rabbi laughed and said, “Moses was our relative, and he left us the Torah.” The congregant was angry for a minute and then laughed. He asked the rabbi, “What can I do for you?” From then on, he was always there when the rabbi called. He was always ready to help. (Told in Bernard S. Raskas, Heart of Wisdom, Burning Bush Press, 1962.)

1 2 3

What lesson did the rabbi teach the congregant?

God is One

Rabbi Rafael once asked his teacher Rabbi Pinhas of Koretz, “How come every person on earth has a different face?”

How did being reminded about the Torah make the congregant willing to help?

Rabbi Pinhas answered: “Because each person is created in the image of God.”

What deal does our family have with God?

“But if they all are created to be like God, how come they all are different?” Rabbi Rafael asked.

God made a brit, a covenant, with Noah. It was to never destroy the world again. God made a more specific covenant with Abraham. That covenant was expanded at Mt. Sinai. Jews believe that God became our God at that moment, and we became God’s people. The Torah is the wedding contract between God and Israel. A deal with God means that we have made a commitment to do what is right, even when we do not want to. It means we live with obligations.

Rabbi Pinhas smiled and answered: “Each person has a single spark of God in him. Each person is created to make a different part of God understandable. That is why everyone has a different face” (Tales of the Hasidim, Martin Buber, Schocken).

1 2 3

If we are all created in God’s image, how come we all look and act differently? How does one God connect all people?

How do we know that there is one God?

Judaism is ethical monotheism. It centers around the idea that there is one God. One God is a hard idea, but it is also our central idea. The Shema, a verse from the Torah, is the most important Jewish prayer. It is the one we say at bedtime. The Shema states that God is one. One God means that all people are connected. It means that we have an obligation to all other people. It means that there is one right way to act. This story is the beginning of a conversation that will take a long time because the unity of God is a hard idea. The last question—how do we know—is especially hard, because truth be told, we don’t know, we only believe.


5685-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:44 AM

Page 4

Being God’s Partner A man moves to the town of Tz’fat. On the first Shabbat he is in town the rabbi preaches a sermon about the twelve loaves of braided bread that the children of Israel put on a table weekly in the ancient tabernacle. The man did not understand the sermon. He explained it poorly to his wife. He said, “I think the sermon meant God likes hallah.” After the Sabbath was over, his wife baked twelve loaves of hallah and the man sneaked them into the synagogue in the middle of the night. He placed them in the ark. A few minutes later a poor man came into the synagogue and demanded help from God. He kissed and dropped the ark curtain, and a hallah fell out of the ark. He looked inside and found the rest of the loaves. The poor man believed that God had heard his prayers. Later the first man looked in the ark and discovered his hallot were gone. He believed that God had accepted his gifts. The next week the wife baked twelve more loaves, and again her husband brought them as a gift to God. Later that night the poor man came and again found food for his family. This happened week after week. Eventually the rabbi sent for the two men. He said to the new man in town, “Your hands are the hands of God. You give food to the poor.” And he said to the poor man, “Your hands, too, are the hands of God, receiving gifts of thanksgiving. Continue baking and continue taking; both of you are doing holy work” (Shlomo Carlebach).

1 2 3

How were the hands of the newcomer God’s hands? How were the hands of the poor man God’s hands?

What does it mean to be God’s partner?

The idea of being God’s partner is the last and final idea. It puts all the other ideas together. If we don’t believe in God, or don’t know about God, the idea of being God’s partner still is the unifying Jewish idea. It is really important to share your own meaning for this concept—and to make it, in one way or another, a family theme.

Resources We have given you a few pages on God. They in no way cover the area.

• Gellman, Rabbi Marc and Monsignor Thomas Hartman.Where God Dwells: Questions and Answers for Parents and Children. Triumph Books. Liguori, MO. 1991. • Kushner, Harold. When Children Ask About God. Schocken Books. New York. 1995.

• Kushner, Lawrence. The Book of Miracles: A Young Person’s Guide to Jewish Spiritual Awareness. Jewish Lights Publishing. Woodstock, VT. 1997.

• Schulweis, Harold M., For Those Who Can’t Believe: Overcoming the Obstacles to Faith. HarperCollins Publishers. New York, NY. 1994. • Wolpe, David J.. Teaching Your Children About God. Henry Holt and Company, Inc. New York, NY. 1993.

Some Other Things to Do Here are some activities that will allow you to talk more about God in a very natural way. 1. Spend time in nature. 2. Read some “God” stories. Some of the best include Sandy Sasso’s book God’s Paint Brush, A Book of Miracles by Lawrence Kushner and A Child’s Garden of Torah by Joel Lurie Grishaver. Your synagogue librarian will have a lot of other suggestions. 3. Make saying Shema, the Jewish bedtime prayer, part of your child’s bedtime ritual. Place it in a context where conversation is easy and natural. 4. Take “God” walks. Point out as many different things as you can that God does. 5. Use the phrases “In God’s image” or “God’s partner” regularly when you talk about obligations, commitments and especially doing things that make the world better.

ILLUSTRATED BY DAVID BLEICHER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5668-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:45 PM

WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN GOD’S WORK?

Page 1

No one can see wind. Wind is invisible. But we can all see the things that the wind does. We can see leaves blowing around. We can see branches bending. We can see the wind make waves. We can see our own hats as we chase them down the street when the wind blows them off our heads.

No one can see God. God is also invisible. But we can all see the things that God does. We can see the sun, moon, and stars. We can see all the other things that God created. The Shema is a prayer. Jews say it during services and when they go to bed. It is the most important prayer. It reminds us that God is ehad. Ehad means one. When we say the Shema we remember that one God created the sun, moon, and stars. The same God gave life to everything that is alive. God is ehad. Ehad begins with the letter à (Alef).

ãç˜àÆ


5668-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:45 PM

Page 2

The Hebrew word Shema means â&#x20AC;&#x153;listen.â&#x20AC;? The Shema teaches that we can only know about God when we listen, not when we are talking. The Shema tells us to love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our might. The Shema is the most important Jewish prayer. Jews never want to forget it. We do a lot of things to remember the Shema.

WHAT THINGS DO YOU DO THAT SHOW THAT YOU LOVE GOD?

The Mezuzah. We write the words of the Shema and put them on our doorposts and our gates. The Tefillin. We put the Shema in leather boxes and wrap them on our arms and hang them between our eyes. The Tallit. We wear a prayer shawl with special fringes to make sure that when we look at them we remember the mitzvot. Prayers. We make the Shema part of our prayers when we lie down and when we get up.


5668-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:46 PM

Page 3

Ehad begins with the Hebrew letter à (Alef).

These words are in the Shema. Circle the à (Alef) letters.

ìàÅøNÔé‹ ãç˜àÆ eðéä•GàÁ Torah Study. We study Torah as often as we can and make sure that our children learn the stories and rules God wants us to know.

WHAT DO WE…

WEAR

HANG

TO REMEMBER GOD IS WRAP ONE


5668a1.qxd

06/11/08

9:16 AM

Page 4

Circle all the places where you can see God’s work.

At Home

ãç˜àÆ éé eðéä•GàÁ éé ìàÅøNÔé‹ òîÇLÀ Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Ehad. Listen Israel, the Eternal is our God, the Eternal is one.

ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, DAVID BLEICHER AND TED LEWIN. PHOTOGRAPH BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5667-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:12 AM

Page 1

Look at this door. This is a Jewish home. HAT MAKES It has a mezuzah on the doorpost. AWHOUSE INTO A JEWISH HOME?

The mezuzah reminds us of our liberation from Egypt. On the day before their last night in Egypt, God told the Jewish people to mark their doorposts with the blood of a lamb. All the Jews went inside when night came. Outside was dangerous. God brought the last plague on Egypt. But every house with a marking on its doorpost was safe.

äæˆeæîÀ

Mezuzah is the Hebrew word for doorpost. Today Jewish families still mark their doorposts. They attach a small box with a parchment inside. We call this box a mezuzah. The mezuzah asks God to keep our houses safe, too. Mezuzah begins with the Hebrew letter î (Mem).


5667-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:12 AM

Page 2

a hsa

On the front of almost every mezuzah you will find the Hebrew letter L Shin. On the front of some mezuzot you will find three letters, L Shin, ã Dalet and é YUD. Those three letters spell écLÇ Shaddai. That is a name of God. Those same three letters remind us of three Hebrew words: Shomer Delatot Yisrael. That means that God protects Jewish houses.

When we hang a mezuzah on our doorpost we are asking God to protect our home. We are asking for help in making it a place of peace and love. We are asking for help making it a place of shalom bayit. shalom bayit means WHAT GIVES A “family peace.” FAMILY SHALOM BAYIT (FAMILY PEACE)?

At Home The blessing for hanging a mezuzah is: åéú˜BöÀîÄa eðLÈcš÷” øLÆà ,íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .äæˆeæîÀ òÇaÊ÷ìÄ eðeöÄåŠ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, Asher Kidshanu b’Mitzvotav, v’Tzivanu l’Kbo’a Mezuzah. Praised are You, Adonai Our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, The One who made us holy with mitzvot, and made it a mitzvah for us to attach a mezuzah.


5667-1.qxd

04/22/2004

1:26 PM

Page 3

Mezuzah begins with the Hebrew letter î (Mem).

Find the balloons that have a î (Mem) on them.

î

a î L

î

î ø

ì ã

ç ä î ú î î è

WHAT THINGS MAKE GOD COMFORTABLE IN YOUR HOME?

When we hang a mezuzah we invite God to be part of our home. A mezuzah says, “Our family should always have God inside our house.” It is a custom to kiss the mezuzah every time we enter a Jewish home.

House Mezuzah created by Danika Designs in Stained Glass.

Inside every mezuzah is a parchment. On the parchment are the words to the Shema handwritten in Hebrew.


5667-1.qxd

04/22/2004

12:57 PM

Page 4

Circle the things that lead to shalom bayit (family peace).

THE MEZUZAH: WHAT DO WE…

WRITE ?

HANG?

KISS?

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, MADELINE SOREL AND CAROLINE DAVITA. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER AND JULES PORTER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM • PRINTED IN CHINA


5520-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:37 AM

Page 1

On Hanukkah we tell the story of the Maccabees.

HOW CAN YOU BE LIKE A MACCABEE?

The story begins at a time when the Greeks tried to get Jews to stop being Jewish. Things looked bad, but Judah Maccabee and an army of Jews fought back. While they fought, the Greeks captured the Temple in Jerusalem. They turned it into a garbage dump, but Judah and his army won back the Temple. They cleaned it and made it holy again.

äékÄð‰ç’ A hanukkiyah holds eight candles and a shamash. The shamash is used to light the other candles. We light one of the candles on the first night of Hanukkah. We light two candles on the second night. On the eighth night of Hanukkah we light all eight candles. Hanukkiyah starts with the Hebrew letter ç (Het).


5520-1.qxd

06/11/08

9:38 AM

Page 2

When the Maccabees went to light the ner tamid, the eternal light, there was only enough clean oil to last for one night. But a miracle happened and the oil lasted for eight nights. During Hanukkah: We light the hanukkiyah every night. When we light the hanukkiyah every night, we are acting out the story of the oil that lasted for eight nights.

Latkes are pancakes. Sufganiyot are jelly donuts. Both are cooked in oil. We eat them on Hanukkah to remember the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight nights. On Hanukkah we play a game with a four-sided top. In Yiddish it is called a dreidle. In Hebrew it is called a sevivon. On the sides are four Hebrew letters, which stand for “Nes Gadol ha-Yah Sham,” “A great miracle happened there.”

© TED SPIEGEL/CORBIS

We eat latkes and sufganiyot.


5520-1.qxd

04/22/2004

1:33 PM

Page 3

Hanukkiyah starts with the letter ç (Het).

Circle all the candles that have a ç (Het).

ç

è ç ã ç

ì L k ç

HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED DREIDEL?

WHAT DO WE…

At Home

The sevivon has four sides. Each side has a Hebrew letter on it.

LIGHT

EAT

SPIN

ON HANUKKAH?

When you roll a

b

NUN, you get nothing.

When you roll a

d

GIMMEL, you get everything.

When you roll a

v

HEY, you get half.

When you roll a

a

SHIN, you put something in.


5520-1.qxd

04/22/2004

1:33 PM

Page 4

Number the pictures to tell the story

The Maccabees clean the Temple.

King Antiochus orders the Jews to bow down to his statue.

Judah becomes the leader of the Maccabees.

The lamp in the Temple is lighted. WHAT THINGS DOES YOUR FAMILY DO ON HANUKKAH?

ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, ALLAN EITZEN AND JACKIE URBANOVIC. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5684-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:56 AM

Page 1

Celebrating Hanukkah at Home Hanukkah is an easy holiday. It doesn’t ask for any days off from work or school. It doesn’t demand a special diet. It doesn’t ask you to build anything. Hanukkah is essentially a five-minute ceremony that is done after sundown for eight nights in a row. You can choose to make Hanukkah a really big deal—or you can let it fit in as a five-minute insert in the things you already do. What is MOST IMPORTANT is that you do something. You need to find a way to underline and reinforce the learning that your child is doing in his/her Jewish school. Your making Hanukkah come to life does that.

Hanukkah Rituals Only one Hanukkah ritual is a must-do, and that is lighting the Hanukkiyah (the Hanukkah menorah) and saying the blessings over it. On page 4 we guide you in this process. The hard part is this: the hanukkiyah is lighted for eight nights in a row. You start with one candle and build up to eight. On the first night you say three blessings; on every other night you say only two. Observing every night makes a big impact. You can add songs, you can add food, you can add presents, but lighting the Hanukkah menorah is the one thing you should do (if you only do one thing). Hanukkah asks you to have one Jewish object in your home, the hanukkiyah, the special lamp stand used to hold the eight candles (one for each night) and the shamash, the service candle. If you do not already own one (or if you do not

Hanukkah Values Hanukkah is the opportunity to teach your children many important values. These come alive through the customs and through the story. The Courage to Be Different: To be Jewish in North America is to know that you are “Hanukkah” and not “Christmas.” Every Jewish child faces that moment of being “different” and not being like everyone else. Sticking to Hanukkah is a big lesson in being “true” to your people and having the courage to be different. It can give us a lot of strength of character. Light in Darkness: At the heart of the story of Hanukkah is the knowledge that no matter how dark things seem, there is always the possibility of light. This is true of the “oil that lasted eight days when it should have only lasted one,” and it is true of the hannukiyot we light in the middle of the longest night of the year, bringing light where nature gave us darkness. Standing Up for What is Right: The story of Hanukkah invites us to be a Maccabee. Being a Maccabee means standing up for what is right. It is having the courage to be on the side of justice—standing up against injustice. It is speaking for the underdog when no one else will.

Visit Christmas HYPOTHESIS: Before we can stage an effective Hanukkah celebration, we have to make our peace with Christmas. The way to do that is by making a big deal out of Christmas, with all its joys and delights, while at the same time pointing out: That is not where we live. The first time I lived in Jerusalem I heard a great, probably apocryphal story. It seemed that a Christian New York Times’ reporter was living

CONTINUED ON PAGE

2

CONTINUED ON PAGE

2


5684-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:56 AM

Page 2

already own one you love), this year would be the perfect time to add a hanukkiyah to your collection of family treasures. The other daily Hanukkah rituals are prayers we add to our everyday life. There is a special Hanukkah prayer we add to services when we go to synagogue. Most synagogues have special Hanukkah services for families, and it is a perfect time to go. Also, there is a section that is added to Birkat ha-Mazon (the grace after meals) on Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Story If you were going to add just one more thing to your Hanukkah practice, that should be the telling of the story of Hanukkah. We include one version here on page 3, one that you can read, but also feel free to read from the many books that exist or to tell it the way you remember it. Without the story, the candles will have very little meaning.

Hanukkah Customs Now, as you decide to grow your celebration, there are lots of customs from which to choose. Consdier food, gifts, games, decorations, parties, etc. Hanukkah Foods: There are two basic Hanukkah foods, latkes and sufganiyot. Latkes are potato pancakes that are fried in oil. Sufganiyot are jelly donuts that are fried in oil. What they have in common is the oil. Oil is of course central to the Hanukkah story, because one meaning of Hanukkah is to celebrate the miracle that the oil lasted for eight nights. Serving one or both is a way to make Hanukkah different and to retell this story through the food you serve. Hanukkah Gifts: Gifts may be the most anticipated part of Hanukkah, but they are not actually part of the story or of the ritual. They are a modern creation, part of the “competition with Christmas.” The tradition has become one gift for each of the eight nights, but there are no rules. Some families do one big gift and seven small ones. Some families do theme nights with each night coming from a different category (first night clothes, second night books, etc.). You will find your own way of doing this because there are no rules. Hanukkah Games: Hanukkah is a famous time for family game playing. “The” Hanukkah game is called dreidle (sevivon in Hebrew). The dreidle is a four-sided top. On each side is a Hebrew letter: Nun, Gimmel, Hey, Shin. These letters also tell one version of the Hanukkah story. They are the initials of the phrase Neis Gadol ha-Yah Sham (A miracle happened there). The directions are given on page 4. Hanukkah Decorations: Decorating the house for Hanukkah is another modern (“competing with Christmas”) custom. Again there are no rules. Today there are lots of commercial decorations available. Buy what you like. Make what you can. Turn your house into your own Hanukkah theme park (using your own sense of good taste). Hanukkah Party: Hanukkah parties are fun—especially near the last night of the holiday when you can have lots of hannukiyot testing your smoke detectors with oodles of candles burning at once. There is no obligation to do so—but consider how much fun you can have.

Visit Christmas with his family in Jerusalem. Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot just about every family on the block built a sukkah. Every one of his kids’ friends’ families were building sukkot. All of their friends, their Israeli friends, were inviting them to eat out in the sukkah. As the story goes, the pressure built. Eventually, his kids asked, “Dad, can’t we build a sukkah?” When the father said, “No,” explaining “We’re not Jewish,” the kids responded, “A sukkah isn’t really a Jewish thing—it’s just a fun thing to do!” Even if it never happened, the story provides lots of relief. It teaches us three lessons about how to deal with the December dilemma:

1

That we should regularly invite our non–Jewish friends to celebrate our Jewish holidays with us. Passover, Shabbat and Sukkot are great opportunities. Joel’s Twelfth Law: The best time to deal with the “problem of Christmas” is at any time in the year but not the middle of December.


5684-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:26 AM

Page 3

2 3

That as part of a “cultural exchange” we should visit our non–Jewish friends’ holiday celebrations and have an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate them. That we should make sure that we know and that our children know the difference between “visiting” and “owning.” To make this clear, a story from my mother’s family: Almost every year my mother got to help decorate a Christmas tree. Often she went to a Christmas party. My own family inherited the practice. It was always at the invitation of Christian friends. Once, when her brother, my Uncle Bob, nailed up a Christmas stocking on the mantle expecting gifts, my Grampa Charlie filled it with coal. He said, “That’s what Santa does to Jewish kids who think they can celebrate a Christian holiday.” When I was seven or eight and thought about hanging a stocking, my mother’s story about Uncle Bob stopped me.

The Hanukkah Story The story of Hanukkah is the story of a miracle. It is the story of people who fought for freedom. It is the story of heroes who were proud to be Jews. Hanukkah teaches us that when everything seems dark, we can always find light. Antiochus was a wicked king who wanted everyone in his kingdom to be exactly the same. He tried to make all the Jews be just like everyone else. He ordered them to bow down and pray to idols. Some Jews said, “No.”

Another Story: Patti Golden is a genius. She is a friend of mine and the founder of the Jewish Holiday Workshop Series. I consider her one of my teachers. One important piece of Torah she taught me was the story of a daughter who came home from college and told her about a “bull session” they had in the dorm.

Antiochus had a big and powerful army. No one thought that just a few Jews could beat them.

The daughter said, “Mom, I actually figured out that Hanukkah was one of the major reasons I never got involved with drugs or excessive drinking, and that I’m not involved in the promiscuous sex that is all around me. From having to celebrate Hanukkah when everyone else was doing Christmas, I learned that I could be different—and that was okay.”

Mattathias was a Jew who would not bow down to the idol that Antiochus’ soldiers were escorting from town to town. He fought back. He told the other Jews, “Let everyone who believes in following the Torah and keeping the Covenant follow me.” Mattathias killed one of the soldiers. Then he and his sons ran away to the mountains. They hid there and sneaked down to fight Antiochus’ army.

Joel Lurie Grishaver, 40 Things You Can Do to Save the Jewish People (Alef Design Group)

© TED SPIEGEL/CORBIS

These Jews became the Maccabbees. They fought long and hard against the Syrians. They felt brave because they believed in God. They felt smart because they carefully planned each fight. After years of fighting they won the war. They were free to live as Jews. They didn’t have to be like everyone else. They came to the Temple and found that it was a mess. Antiochus’ soldiers used it as a place to dump garbage. When it was all clean and ready they held a special service. They lit the Great Menorah and celebrated for eight days. We have a memory that there was only enough holy oil to last for one night. We lit the flame anyway. We remember that a miracle happened and that this oil happened to last for eight nights. They call this celebration “Hanukkah” because they “rededicated” the Temple. Hanukkah is still eight of the happiest holidays in the Jewish year.


5684-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:27 AM

Page 4

Hanukkah Blessings åéú˜BöÀîÄa eðLÈcš÷” øLÆà íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .äkÈð‰ç’ ìLÆ øð… ÷éìÄãšä—ìÀ eðeöÄåŠ Barukh Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, Asher Kidshanu B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu l’Hadlik Ner shel Hanukkah. Praised are You Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, who made us holy through the mitzvot, and made it a mitzvah to kindle the Hanukkah lights.

íä•ä˜ íéîÄia— eðéú•BáàÂìÇ íéq”ð„ äNÜòÈLÆ íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ .äf†ä— ïîÇæa— Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, She-asah Nissim la-Avoteinu, Ba-Yamim ha-Hem, ba-Z’man ha-Zeh. Praised are You Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, who made miracles for our anscestors in their days at this very time of year.

.äf†ä— ïîÇfìÇ eðòÈéb„ä”åŠ eðîÇiŠ÷”åŠ eðéç‘ä–LÆ íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ Barukh Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, She-he-he’yanu, v’Kiy’mznu, v’Higiyanu la-Zman ha-Zeh. Praised are You Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, who keeps in life, sustains us, and helps us reach this time.

How to Play Dreidle Before you play, everyone gets a pile of nuts or candy. To begin, everyone puts one piece of candy or one nut in the center. Take turns spinning the dreidle. NUN: If the dreidle lands on NUN you get nothing. GIMMEL: If the dreidle lands on GIMMEL you get everything in the center. HEY: If the dreidle lands on HEY you get half of what is in the center. SHIN: If the dreidle lands on SHIN you have to put one piece in the center.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALLAN EITZEN, DAVID BLEICHER AND CHRISTINE TRIPP. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5679-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:36 AM

Page 1

The Torah teaches us that we do not own everything we have. God divided the land of Israel into areas for the twelve tribes. Each area was divided in spaces for different clans. Those spaces were divided into spaces for families. Each family had its own piece of land. Families worked hard all year raising their own crops. But the Torah taught them that they did not own everything they raised in their fields. The Torah said that the crops in the corners of the fields had to be left for the poor. God said, “You must use part of what you have to help others.”

WHY DOES GOD WANT US TO SHARE WHAT WE HAVE?

ä÷®ãŸöÀ

Tzedakah is giving money to help other people. This money can be used to buy food or clothing for people who do not have them. It can be used to pay for medicine for people who are sick. It can pay the rent for people who need a place to live. Tzedakah begins with ö (Tzade).


5679-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:31 AM

Page 2

This is a tzedakah box. It is an important thing to have in a Jewish home.

WHEN DO WE GIVE TZEDAKAH?

Jews put money in a tzedakah box before they light Shabbat candles. Jews put money in a tzedakah box when they hear good news. Jews give tzedakah as part of celebrating every Jewish holiday. Giving tzedakah is a mitzvah. It is something God expects us to do.

There was a tzedakah room in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. People used to go into that room secretly. Some people left money for people who needed it. Some people took money when they needed it. No one knew who gave. No one knew who took. It was all secret. No one was embarrassed. The Torah teaches that there are good ways to give tzedakah and better ways of giving tzedakah. It is always better when you give money without embarrassing another person.

CAN YOU LIST SOME GOOD WAYS OF GIVING TZEDAKAH?


5679-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:32 AM

Page 3

Tzedakah begins with ö (Tzade).

Each of these Hebrew letters is missing one line. Can you finish each ö (Tzade)?

Abraham was the first Jew. God said in the Torah, “I have picked Abraham to turn his family into the Jewish people so that they can teach their children to give tzedakah.” Tzedakah was the reason that the Jewish people got started. WHAT MAKES TZEDAKAH SO IMPORTANT?


5679-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:33 AM

Page 4

Connect each of these coins to a mitzvah they can do.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND DAVID BLEICHER. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5670-1.qxd

06/11/08

8:38 AM

Page 1

Once there was a man named Honi. One day when he was taking a walk he saw a farmer planting a carob tree. Honi asked him, “How long will it take this tree to give fruit?” The farmer answered, “Maybe seventy years.” Honi said to the farmer, “This tree will do you no good. You will not be here to see it.” The farmer answered, “My grandchildren will be able to enjoy it. Someone planted the trees I enjoy. I have to plant trees for the future.”

HAVE YOU EVER PLANTED A TREE? HAVE YOU EVER HELPED A TREE?

Honi sat down and went to sleep leaning against a tree.

õòÅ

Etz is the Hebrew word for tree. Jews know that trees are very special. We call our Torah an Etz Hayyim, a tree of life. We even have a tree holiday, Tu B’Shvat. Etz begins with the Hebrew letter ò (Ayin).


5670-1.qxd

04/22/2004

2:35 PM

Page 2

Honi slept for a long time. He slept for seventy years. He then stretched a big stretch. He yawned a big yawn. He saw a farmer working in a field by a huge carob tree. Honi walked over to this farmer and asked, “Who planted this tree?” The farmer answered, “My grandfather did.” Honi understood the lesson. After that Honi planted a lot of trees. Tu B’Shvat is the Rosh haShanah for trees. It is a day when we celebrate trees. It is a day when we plant trees. It is the day when we remember that trees are important. Trees give us food and shade. Trees give us wood and even help to make fresh air.


5670-1.qxd

04/22/2004

2:54 PM

Page 3

Etz begins with the Hebrew letter ò (Ayin).

Can you tell the ò (Ayin) letters from the trees? Circle every ò.

Israel used to be a desert. Jews from all over the world plant trees there. Trees have helped to make Israel into a green garden.

WHAT DO WE…

ON TU B’SHVAT CELEBRATE

PLANT

HAVE YOU EVER GIVEN MONEY TO PLANT A TREE IN ISRAEL?


5670-1.qxd

04/22/2004

2:37 PM

Page 4

Circle the things that trees give us.

At Home

The blessing over fruit that grows on a tree is .õòÅä˜ éø‹tÀ àøŒBa íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, Borei Pri ha-Etz. Bless You Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, Who creates the fruit of the tree.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND JOANN E. KITCHEL. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5671-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:01 PM

Page 1

A Jewish meal begins with a blessing over bread. It also ends with a blessing over bread. Bread tells a story about God. Without God, the rains would not fall. Without rain, the grain would not grow. Without farmers, the grain would not be harvested. God created both the grain and the farmers.

CAN YOU NAME OTHER PEOPLE WHO HELP WITH THE MAKING OF BREAD?

Grain becomes flour, which is mixed with yeast and water, sometimes with eggs, butter and other things. It needs to be kneaded and allowed to rise. It needs to be knocked down and allowed to rise again. It takes a baker to turn grain into bread. God created the chickens and the eggs, the cow, the milk, and the person who turned milk into butter. God created the baker, too. Bread tells the story of many of the ways that God helps us.


5671-1.qxd

06/20/08

11:09 AM

Page 2

Every brakhah begins éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ Barukh Attah Adonai… Blessed are You Eternal… The brakhah before eating bread ends .õøàÈä˜ ïîÄ íç–ìÆ àéöÄBnä— ha-Motzi lehem min ha-aretz. WHAT DID YOU EAT TODAY? HOW DID GOD HELP WITH THESE FOODS?

The One Who brings forth bread from the earth.

The brakhah after a meal is called Birkat ha-Mazon. It tells a story. After the Jews left Egypt they lived in the wilderness for forty years. God brought them water and fed them every day with a special food called manna. Each day manna fell from the sky to last only for one day. No one could save any. It tasted great. After we eat we remember the manna and say a brakhah that ends .ìkÊä— úàÆ ïfˆä— ha-Zan et ha-Kol. God is the One who feeds us all.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS?


5671-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:01 PM

Page 3

A brakhah is a blessing. It is a way we thank God. A brakhah is also a gift. We say a brakhah every time we realize that God has given us a brakhah, a gift. A brakhah teaches us that we can feel closer to God when we notice things that God creates or does for us. Brakhah begins with the Hebrew letter a (Bet).

Brakhah begins with the Hebrew letter a (Bet).

NAME AS MANY DIFFERENT BLESSINGS AS YOU ARE ABLE.

äëÈøa

Here are a whole bunch of a (Bet) letters. Circle the letters that face the correct way.


5671-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:02 PM

Page 4

Number the steps in order to bake bread.

BREAD— WHAT DO WE…

SAY BEFORE

SAY AFTER

REMEMBER

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5666-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:10 PM

Page 1

King Ahashuerus was the king of Persia. He was not the best king. Haman was his minister. He was a wicked man. Haman talked the king into killing all the Jews. Esther was a Jewish woman who became the queen of Persia. Mordechai was her uncle. Esther saved the Jewish people by showing the king that Haman was wrong. Mordechai then became the king’s new minister and fixed the bad things that Haman had done. ON PURIM WE DRESS UP AS The holiday of Purim celebrates the PEOPLE IN THE PURIM STORY. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE THIS YEAR? story of Esther and Mordechai.

éz”LÀå

Vashti was the first wife of King Ahashuerus. She refused to come when the King sent for her because she was having her own party. He got angry. The story of Purim begins when the King looks for a new queen and finds Esther. Vashti begins with the Hebrew letter å (Vav).


5666-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:07 PM

Page 2

On Purim we do many things to make the story of Purim come alive. We read the story of Esther from a scroll called the megillah. We stamp our feet and make noise every time Haman’s name is read. HOW IS A MEGILLAH DIFFERENT FROM A TORAH SCROLL?

We eat a cookie with three corners. These cookies are called hamantashen. Haman’s hat had three corners. We give gifts of food called shelah manot. When Haman’s evil plot was stopped, the Jews in Persia gave each other gifts. We have a Purim carnival with lots of games. Haman played a game when he picked the date to kill all the Jews. We wear costumes. Some people dress up like the people in the Purim story.


5666-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:07 PM

Page 3

Vashti begins with the Hebrew letter å (Vav).

At Home

There is one å (Vav) on each line. Find and circle it.

A CLOTHES PIN LOOKS A LOT LIKE A VAV . C AN YOU DRESS UP A CLOTHESPIN LIKE VASHTI? CAN YOU MAKE A CLOTHESPIN LOOK LIKE A PERSIAN QUEEN?

This noisemaker has two different names. Some Jews call it a ra’ashan. Other Jews call it a gragger. The first name is in Hebrew. The second name is in Yiddish. HOW DO YOU MAKE NOISE WHEN HAMAN’S NAME IS READ?

WHAT DO WE… READ

EAT

SPIN

ON

PURIM?


5666-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:08 PM

Page 4

Help the rabbi find her way to the other side of the Purim Carnival. Find someone dressed as Esther? Find someone dressed as Haman? Fnd someone dressed as Mordechai? Find someone dressed as King Ahashuerus?

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, LAURA CORNELL AND CAROLINE DAVITA. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER AND GAY BLOCK. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM•PRINTED IN CHINA


5690-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:13 PM

Page 1

The Happiest Holiday in the Jewish Year If you are the parent of a young child, Purim is as good as Judaism gets. In fact, Purim is as good as it gets, period. It is costumes and carnivals. It is celebrations and sweet food. It is making loud noises. And, all of this is anchored by a great story. When you celebrate Purim you get to have a lot of fun and teach some wonderful values—all at the same time.

The Story of Purim Jews were living relatively happily in the Kingdom of Persia. Persia was ruled by a habitually drunk King Ahasuerus. He got angry at a wife named Vashti and went looking for a replacement. Esther, a Jewish girl gets chosen. At this point in the story we meet two more characters: Haman, an evil minister who was Ahasuerus’ right hand man and Mordechai, Esther’s uncle. Haman hates the Jews. He wants to have them all killed. With the King’s permission, Haman casts lots (purim) and picks a day on which all Jews will be killed. Mordechai goes to Esther and asks her to see the king. In those days a queen could only see the king if he had sent for her. Esther takes a big risk and goes on her own. The king is happy to see her. She invites him and Haman to a party. At that party she invites them to a second party. At the second party she tells the king that Haman wants to kill her, and then adds, “and my whole people.” Then comes the happy ending. The king gives the Jews permission to fight back and save their own lives. The King has Haman killed on the apparatus he had built to kill Mordechai, and, the king has Mordechai appointed to replace Haman as his chief minister. There are more details and plot twists, but this is the basic story of Purim .

Make a Big Deal out of Purim It is much better to over-emphasize Purim than to worry about Halloween. In our home for Halloween, we carved a pumpkin and left a bulb glowing in it all night (candles were deemed too dangerous so my father rigged this battery thing). It went right in the front window where we should have kept our Hanukkah menorah— if we had known about the mitzvah of advertising that miracle. When my sister and I were little, we got to buy those storebought costumes with the plastic and elastic masks. When we were older, we threw together something. Soon, however, costumes weren’t cool—and they were given up or minimalized. Whatever the dress, my family “did” Halloween, but it was no big thing. We liked the candy and I can remember the shopping bags full of it—splitting and sorting it on the floor. Today I can’t tell you what costumes I wore—I can’t connect to any great details. On the other hand, my family went crazy over Purim. Starting weeks in advance, my father became a seamstress. He spent weeks fashioning the best and most original Purim costumes for me and Judy. If you’ve ever seen one of those documentaries about what poor neighborhoods in Rio do to get ready for Mardi Gras—you know what my house was like. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


5690-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:53 AM

Page 2

Purim Celebrations

Hamantashen

Most every thing we do on Purim acts out this story in one way or another.

Reading the Megillah The Megillah is a scroll on which the story of Esther is hand written in Hebrew. Reading the megillah is a playful experience. It is not done with a serious tone. Every time Haman’s name is read people shout and stomp; they use noise makers and make as much noise as possible. It is as if we are trying to destroy evil by making noise. Hearing the Megillah is one of the four Purim mitzvot or religious opportunities.

Costumes It is a custom to dress up in costumes on Purim. Often, these costumes are representations of the people in the Purim story. It is another way of “acting out the story” and playing with its message. Sometimes it is just a chance to dress up. At most Purim carnivals you may find twelve Queen Esthers lined up next to a Frankenstein and a ninja. The dressing up is a big part of the celebration.

Celebrations Another Purim mitzvah (one of the easiest of all the mitzvot) is to make the day of Purim into a day of celebration. Traditionally, families would have a Purim Se’udah, a big Purim party. Today, big community celebrations have taken over as the major Purim celebrations. These are usually big carnivals with games of chance and all kinds of really fun activities. Believe it or not, carnivals are a way of acting out the story of Purim. They act it out two ways. First, after the victory, Mordechai commanded everyone to celebrate. Second, all the Purim games are the reverse of the lots Haman cast to see when the Jews should be killed.

In Yiddish they are called Hamatashen and are thought to resemble Haman’s hat. In Hebrew they are called Oznai Haman and are thought to be the shape of Haman’s ears. These triangle-shaped cookies are filled with prunes, apricots, cherries, and other good stuffings. They are the essential Purim food.

Shelah Manot As part of the first Purim celebration Jews in Persia sent gifts of food to their friends. We have continued this tradition. These gifts are called Shelah Manot. This, again, is the basis of a really easy mitzvah. There is only one rule. The gift should consist of at least two kinds of food. This is a fun mitzvah because you get to (a) make up a list of people to whom your family is connected, (b) do some cooking and/or shopping, and then (c) deliver them to your friends. Shelah Manot is a great way of defining your community.

Mattanot le’Evyonim This last Purim mitzvah is hard to pronounce and not as well known as the others. Mattanot le’Evyonim means gifts to the poor. When Mordechai declared the first celebration of Purim, Jews sent two kinds of gifts, gifts to their friends and gifts to the poor. The other way they celebrated their victory was the giving of tzedakah (charity). This, too, is a wonderful opportunity to manifest your best values as part of a celebration.


5690-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:51 AM

Page 3

Purim Values Purim gives you the chance to teach a lot of great values. Here are just a few.

Girls Can Be Heroes Purim is an ancient story that has two strong women at its core. Vashti, whom the midrash turns into a villain, has been seen as heroic by the Jewish woman’s movement. She says “No” to the king. Esther is the one who saves the Jewish people with her planning and her actions.

Evil Can Be Defeated Purim is the story of a near holocaust. The whole of the Jewish people seemed to be at risk. They are saved, not by plagues or the sun standing still, but by the courage and commitment of a few good people. In this story, God acts through people and that is the miracle. We are strong enough to defeat evil.

Real Celebration Need Not Be Madness Traditionally, getting drunk was part of the Purim celebration. It was the one time a year that public drinking became part of the Jewish tradition. Even then, and more now, when understandings of addiction have changed, Purim was the time to teach that “partying” has limits. It becomes a perfect time to model how to be completely happy and safe, all at the same time.

Jewish Life Happens in Community Passover is a Jewish holiday that is all about family. Shabbat is very much a family holiday. So is Sukkot. In many cases the major parts of those (and other) holidays happen at home. Purim is a community celebration. Getting dressed up in costumes and coming down to the dining room table doesn’t quite make it. It takes a whole community to make Purim really happen. That makes Purim the perfect time to make it clear that your family is part of a community. The giving of Shelah Manot underlines this powerfully.

Judaism is Cool It is hard to make Yom Kippur exciting to children. Many other Jewish celebrations are very adult and can be hard for children to get into (and that is okay). Purim is inherently child-centered and pure fun. It creates a moment where it is easy to say, “I am glad I am Jewish.”

Purim Things You Can Do Here are five things you can do to make Purim a really powerful experience for your child.

1 2

Study the Purim story together. Purim is much more exciting when the children can identify all the characters in, and tell the basics of, the Purim story before they get to synagogue.

Make your own noise-makers. You can figure out all kinds of things that can be shaken or blown to make a lot of noise. This arts and crafts (project) can be a lot of fun. But the real payoff comes in pride when your child carries his/her own noisemaker into the Megillah reading.

3

Make a really big deal out of costume choosing and creating. Again, you want your children to feel like this is a big deal. You also want them to feel great pride in their costumes as they walk into the Megillah reading.

4

Go to a Megillah reading. This is the Purim payoff. Go to the carnival and other parts of the celebration, too. But make sure you get to the Megillah reading (with your costume and with your home-made noisemakers.)

5

Prepare and send Shelah Manot. Don’t be afraid to be the first one on your block to start this custom.


5690-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:52 AM

Page 4

The point here is very simple. In my home Halloween was never banned—therefore it never carried the enticement of a forbidden pleasure. It was a simple one-night affair which was enjoyed and forgotten. I didn’t become Stephen King—it isn’t one of my High Holidays. My family were Reform Americans; we only observed one day of Halloween.

There were spangles and tinsel everywhere. My earliest memory is of a satin King Ahasuerus costume. It was purple on the outside, lined with gold satin. I had this studded and bejeweled cape which would have done Elvis proud. The coolest thing about it, however, was the crown. My father took an old baseball hat and made it into the center of a satin turban. It was encrusted in faux finery and then sewn onto the top of the turban. I used it for a couple of years and won some first prizes. Later, I had this great Haman costume with a long flowing black satin cape—lined, of course, in red satin. The three-cornered hat was a padded affair, sort of a giant hamantashen, sewed around an old sailor’s hat. My sister’s two best Purim costumes were even more creative. Once my father made her a gorgeous gragger costume. It was a huge cardboard box with a face hole cut out. It was covered in aluminum foil and had a mailing tube handle which was also covered in foil. The amazing things about it were, that my father managed to glue down all of this foil without wrinkling any of it; and that it had this great art deco border which took two nights to draw in three different colors: red, blue and green. Judy became a deco version of a dancing cigarette box. However, Judy’s best costume was as a Torah. My father, the seamstress, made her a white satin Torah mantle with this wonderful gold tasseled fringe. Her head went through the top where the roller handles would normally go. To go with it, he molded a tin breastplate, carved a wooden pointer (which was then covered in foil), and added a crown. It was really stunning.

When I compare the residual details in my memories of Halloween and Purim celebrations past, I am amazed at how rich the detail is in my memories of Purim. In retrospect, it has taught me that my parents’ wisdom made real sense. They didn’t waste the energy needed to fight Halloween; making Purim really spectacular was far more productive. Halloween teaches us that it is good and sometimes fun to confront our fears. It is a holiday which plays with evil in order to help us face fear. What concerns me about Halloween is not so much its preHallmark origins in All Saints’ Day and All Hallows’ Eve, but its tendency towards meanness. It is not the treat that concerns me, but Halloween’s validation of trickery. Purim is sweets, noise, and costumes, too. But it comes from someplace different. Purim is the story of how every Jew (even an intermarried Jewish woman who was only a “good enough” Jew at best) can be a hero—and that when we act together we are stronger than evil. I love “B” movies, but they don’t’ direct my life. Halloween is Roger Corman’s holiday— it is a George Romero epic. Esther is the kind of character Meryl Streep should play. It is Oscar material—it deserves a much bigger budget.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY LAURA CORNELL AND CAROLINE DAVITA. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM•PRINTED IN CHINA


5678-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:20 PM

Page 1

There are Jews almost everywhere. They live in almost every country in the world. They speak almost every language there is. No matter where you go you can almost always find a synagogue. You can almost always find Jewish people no matter where you travel.

älÈä”÷

HAVE YOU EVER VISITED A SYNAGOGUE IN A DIFFERENT CITY?

Kehillah is the Hebrew word for “community.” It is also a word for a synagogue. A synagogue is not just a building. It is a gathering place for people. Everywhere in the world, Jews try to gather together. Sometimes they create synagogues. Sometimes they build Jewish Community Centers. Sometimes they begin by being a Havurah, a group of friends. Jews try to become a kehillah. Kehillah begins with ÷ (Kuf).


5678-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:20 PM

Page 2

In Honolulu, Hawaii, there is a synagogue called Sof Ma’arav. That means “End of the West.” In Fairbanks, Alaska, there is a synagogue called Or Tzafon. That means “Northern Light.” In Newport, Rhode Island, there is a synagogue that has a letter from George Washington. Its members helped to win the Revolutionary War. There are Jews in all of the fifty states. If you go to see the pyramids in Egypt, you can visit synagogues, too. There are not many Jews left in Egypt today. The beautiful synagogues are still there. One of them is built on the spot where Pharoah’s daughter pulled the baby Moses out of the Nile. It is called the Ben Ezra. HAVE YOUR PARENTS EVER BEEN ON A TRIP AND MET SOMEONE JEWISH FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY?


5678-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:21 PM

Page 3

Kehillah begins with a ÷ Kuf.

Draw a different face in each Kuf. Turn this set of letters into the picture of a Kehillah.

÷÷÷ ÷ ÷÷ ÷ Everywhere in the world Jews celebrate the same holidays. All synagogues use the same basic prayers. The same part of the Torah is read every week in every Jewish community. You can feel at home even if the rabbi’s sermon is in Greek or Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, or even English. The rabbis teach, “All Jews are connected, one to the other.”


5678-1.qxd

04/22/2004

3:21 PM

Page 4

Haroset is a special Seder food. Jews make it differently in almost every country. Circle in a different color the things that each community needs to make Haroset. Poland: Walnuts, apples, wine and cinnamon. Padua, Italy: Chestnuts, apples, cinnamon, orange juice and wine. Turkey: raisins, dates, oranges, apples and wine Surinam, South America: Coconut, apples, walnuts, prunes, apricots, raisins, cherries, cinnamon DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN HAROSET RECIPE? and wine ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND JOEL LURIE GRISHAVER. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER AND NEIL FOLBERG. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5675-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:40 AM

Page 1

Jews read part of the Torah every week. It takes a whole year to read from the beginning to the end. On the day that we finish the Torah we begin again. We never stop reading the Torah. We never stop studying it. A rabbi with the funny name of Ben Bag Bag said, “Turn it and turn it again, because everything can be found in it.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK BEN BAG BAG WAS TRYING TO TEACH?

Rav is the Hebrew word for rabbi. It really means teacher. A rav teaches us Torah. A rav shows us how Torah fits into our áø lives. Moses was the first rabbi. He spent much of his life teaching Torah to the Jewish people. We call him “Moshe Rabbenu”, “Moses our Teacher.” Rav starts with a ø (Resh).


5675-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:41 AM

Page 2

When a Jewish child is born parents celebrate that birth with a ceremony. At that ceremony they ask God to grant their child a life of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Torah, family, and good deeds.â&#x20AC;? When a child is old enough to enter Hebrew school there is a ceremony called consecration. Children are brought to the bimah and given a small Torah. This begins a lifetime of studying Torah. Not all Jewish learning takes place in school. Jewish summer camps are also great places to make friends and learn in a different way. At the age of thirteen a Jewish child becomes a bar or bat mitzvah. It is a day when they read Torah and promise to continue their Jewish learning. After bar or bat mitzvah, boys and girls continue in Hebrew High School and Confirmation programs. High School students can also join youth groups and go on a trip to Israel. When young men and women go away to college their study of Torah does not have to stop. They can take Jewish courses. They can go on college trips to Israel, and join Hillel, a club for Jewish college students named for a great rabbi.


5675-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:41 AM

Page 3

Rav starts with a ø (Resh).

Circle all of the letters ø (Resh).

When Jews grow up and become adults, Jewish learning still goes on. There are many different kinds of adult education classes to attend. Jewish adults can become Jewish teachers and learn as they teach. When Jews become parents they continue learning as they teach their children. WE STUDY TORAH WHEN WE ARE A

BY

CHILD

TEENAGER

ADULT

STUDYING IN A_________.


5675-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:43 AM

Page 4

Irma has a wall of photographs in her room. They tell the story of her Jewish education. Make up a title for each photograph.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, DAVID BLEICHER, JOEL LURIE GRISHAVER AND JACKIE URBANOVIC. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JULES PORTER AND OLIN-SANG-RUBY UNION INSTITUTE. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM•PRINTED IN CHINA


5665-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:45 AM

Page 1

It is important to know Jewish stories. On Passover we remember and tell the story of how God took us from slavery to freedom. Once we were slaves in Egypt. The Egyptians were cruel to us, and made us suffer. Then God performed miracles and set us free. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A SEDER? WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST?

On Passover Jewish families go to a seder. A seder is a service usually held in a home. As part of the seder we eat special foods. We eat matzah, haroset, parsley, salt water, and even horseradish. At the seder we drink four glasses of grape juice or wine. These foods and the four glasses help to tell the story of how God set us free. Seder begins with the Hebrew letter ñ (Samekh).

øãñ•


5665-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:46 AM

Page 2

We read the Passover story from a book called the haggadah.

The matzah reminds us that we had to leave Egypt in a hurry. The haroset reminds us of the clay we used to make bricks. The maror (the horseradish) reminds us that we lived bitter lives as slaves. The parsley reminds us of the things that start to grow in spring. The roasted egg also reminds us of spring. The lamb bone reminds us of the Passover service in the Temple in Jerusalem. The four cups of wine remind us of four promises God made to the Jewish people.

WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE ABOUT PASSOVER?


5665-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:50 AM

Page 3

Seder begins with the Hebrew letter 単 (Samekh).

Circle the things that look like a 単 (Samekh).

WHAT ELSE LOOKS LIKE A SAMEKH?

The afikoman is a piece of matzah we hide. The seder is not done until the afikoman is found. After dinner the children look for it.

Elijah

During the seder the youngest child asks four questions. We have an extra cup of wine for the prophet Elijah. Elijah visits every single house on seder night.

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ELIJAH?


5665-1.qxd

04/26/2004

10:48 AM

Page 4

Here is a picture of a seder. Circle the seder plate in blue. Circle every wine or juice glass in red. Circle the matzah cover in green. Circle every haggadah in purple. Can you find the afikoman and circle it in orange?

WHERE WOULD YOU HIDE THE AFIKOMEN?

WHAT DO WE… EAT

ASK

FIND ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, SUZETTE BARBIER, PATTI BOYD, STEPHEN SCHILDBACH AND CAROLINE DAVITA. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM

ON

PASSOVER?


5691-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:02 AM

Page 1

Things to Do Here are some starting places for your Passover observance. These are things that will help the holiday to have a real impact.

• Have your family participate in a Seder. You may want to hold your own or go to one in your family. You may get together and create a Seder with a few friends. If you are just getting started, your synagogue would love to hook you up with another family who is having a Seder.

The Passover Seder

• The best way to learn how to “make” a Seder is by going to several before you try it on your own. There are a number of good “family” Haggadot (Seder service booklets) that make it easy and clear to learn the steps. The Art of Jewish Living: The Passover Seder, Dr. Ron Wolfson (Jewish Lights) is a book that gives really clear guidance on the hows and whys of every step in the Seder.

Once, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. We were oppressed and the Egyptians tried to destroy us. Then God brought us out of Egypt. From that moment on, Jews developed a sensitivity to all who are oppressed, to all who are in need. From that moment, Jews also developed the sense of being a people. We went into Egypt as a few families. We left Egypt as a nation.

• Not eating bread during the week of Passover (and only eating Matzah) can make an even bigger impact than attending a Seder. Not only does this expand the acting out of the Passover story, but it also teaches a really important lesson. By going everywhere you usually go and doing everything you usually do, but still eating only matzah, you reinforce the understanding that while you are very much part of your larger community, you are different as well.

A Passover Seder is a service and a meal that are woven together. They are traditionally held on the first and the second night of Passover. The Seder is a reenactment of our liberation. It is the way we turn history into an experience for our children and ourselves.

The Kitchen Seder

The Passover Seder is the most celebrated Jewish ritual in North America. It is also a hard Jewish holiday ritual to celebrate because it involves cooking a number of special foods, performing a somewhat long and complicated ritual, and also managing the dynamics of a family (and perhaps a large group).

Passover is all about the connection between food and stories. Years ago, Cherie Koller-Fox invented the idea of a Kitchen Seder. She reasoned that the kitchen was the best place to let young children connect with the foods that will be used in the Seder. She taught that the kitchen was the best place to tell the stories that went with the foods. Then the food and the children were to go to the dining room table and participate in the formal Seder. The Kitchen Seder is a rehearsal for the real Seder. Even if you are going to a Seder not in your home, where you can’t have a Kitchen Seder, you can still have one in your own home as a preparation. CONTINUED ON PAGE

2


5691-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:02 AM

Page 2

Here are some of the things you can do at your Kitchen Seder. They are set down here in the order they are used in the Seder, but that is not in the order you need prepare them.

Wine/Grape Juice Preparing the wine/juice for the Seder. This preparation could be pouring the wine/juice into glasses. It could be putting it in a decanter. It could be just organizing the bottles and making sure that they are ready. Have everyone take a taste. Ask everyone, “What do you think of when you taste the wine/juice?” You (the adult) may want to be the first one to answer this question. Then, listen to everyone’s answer. Read or tell the following. “Every Friday night and every Jewish holiday begins with a glass of wine or juice. We say a special prayer called the Kiddush (from kadosh, which means holy). We use the prayer over the wine/juice to thank God for giving us this holiday. The blessing over the wine says that Passover is special. We each drink four glasses of wine/juice during the Seder.” Ask: “What makes Passover special for you?” You may want to begin by sharing the first answer. Have everyone, adults and children, share their answers.

Karpas Next we are going to prepare the parsley and salt water for the part of the Seder known as Karpas. The parsley represents the new growth of spring. The salt water reminds us of the tears we shed in Egypt when we were slaves there. Have your children prepare the parts. Wash the parsley. Pour some salt into the water. Hold up a piece of parsley so it looks like a tree, bush, or maybe a forest and ask, “What does this look like?” Then say or read: “Near the beginning of the Seder we take a piece of parsley. The parsley reminds us that Passover is a spring holiday. Passover comes when everything starts to grow again. Trees begin to grow new leaves. Plants and flowers push up out of the soil. In the fields, wheat and corn and the other crops begin to grow, too. The parsley helps us thank God for making all the things that grow in spring.” Ask: ‘What is your favorite spring thing?” Start things off by sharing your own answer. Have everyone dip their finger in the salt water. Ask them: “What does the salt water taste like?” Listen to all the answers.


5691-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:48 AM

Page 3

Then read: “The salt water reminds us of tears. We cried many tears when we were slaves in Egypt. The Egyptians were mean and hurt us. They were cruel to us.” Ask: “What things made you cry when you were a slave in Egypt?” This is a pretend question. You can best make it clear by giving your own fantasy memory of being a slave in Egypt.

Matzah The Seder takes lots of matzah. Three pieces are placed in the matzah cover. More matzah is used as well. It is traditional not to eat matzah for a month before the first Seder. So you may not want to taste the matzah during your Kitchen Seder. Through questions and answers establish that: (1) the name of this flat bread is matzah; (2) it is made out of just flour and water; (3) on Passover Jews eat matzah (and do not eat bread); (4) matzah tells part of the story of Passover. When we left Egypt, running from Pharaoh, we ate matzah because we did not have time to let dough rise and become bread. Matzah is the special food of Passover. Once we were slaves in Egypt but God helped us to become free. When Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, said we could go we wanted to leave in a hurry. We were scared he would change his mind. We started to bake bread but did not have time for it to rise. We made matzah instead. The matzah reminds us of how we become free. Ask: “What else do you remember about when we were slaves in Egypt?” Again, you should set the example by answering first. Answers should come from the imagination.

Pesah Part of the preparations for the Passover Seder is to roast the shank bone of a lamb. This is called the Pesah. It is not used but it is talked about during the Seder. It’s purpose is to recall the Pesah offering, the special sacrifice that was offered on Passover in the days of the Temple. It also tells the story of their last night in Egypt when every Jewish family had a Seder and a roasted lamb. Take the bone out of the oven and let it cool. Then pass it around. (Greasy hands can be washed.) Ask: “What is this?” Establish that it is a roasted leg bone of a lamb.


5691-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:48 AM

Page 4

Read or tell the following: “On our last night as slaves in Egypt, God told us to have a meal that was like a Seder.” Each family gathering ate their own roasted lamb. Later, when the Jews built a Temple in Israel, roasting a Passover lamb was part of the holiday service there. Today we keep a bone on our Seder plate to remind us of the way we left Egypt and of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Maror

Maror is a bitter herb. Usually we use some form of horseradish as our bitter herb. It is used to remind us of the bitterness of our slavery in Egypt. Some families grind their own horseradish and mix it with vinegar. Some families buy a horseradish root and slice it. Most families buy a jar of horseradish and use the commercial mixture for the Seder. No matter which kind you use, allow your children to help get it ready. Give them a warning about this being hot and bitter. Let everyone have a very small taste. Ask: “How did it taste?” Read: “We eat a bitter herb at the Seder to remember how bitter our lives were when we were slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh made us slaves. The Egyptians made us do more work than we could do. They beat us. They made our lives hard in every way.” Ask: “What was most bitter about being a slave in Egypt?”

Haroset

Haroset is the most fun food at the Seder. It is a sweet food that reminds us of something bitter. Make Haroset together. The simplest Haroset recipe is apples, cinnamon, wine/juice, and nuts. These can be put through a food processor, chopped, grated, or in other ways mixed together. Haroset is not exactly in the Seder service. It is usually used as part of—or after—the “Hillel sandwich” and just before the meal. The Hillel sandwich is made of two pieces of matzah filled with Maror (bitter) and Haroset (sweet). Sample your Haroset. Ask: “Why do we make Haroset?” (Answer: To remind us of the stuff we used to stick the bricks together when we built buildings for Pharaoh in Egypt.) Ask: “Haroset is sweet. What do you think is the sweetest part of the Seder?” Share answers and listen to everyone.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY PATTI BOYD AND CAROLINE DAVITA. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. • VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5674-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:07 AM

Page 1

Jews live in China and Mexico. They live in Russia and America. There are Jews living in England, France, Kenya, Australia, and even in Egypt. You will find them in almost every country in the world. Jews speak English and Arabic. They speak French, German, Russian, Japanese, Czech, Spanish WHAT IS YOUR COUNTRY? WHAT IS YOUR and just about every other language. LANGUAGE? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO ISRAEL? Jews call many different lands their home. Jews say “home” in many different languages. But all Jews also share one same homeland. All Jews can call Israel their home. All Jews can call Hebrew their language.

ìàÅøNÔé‹

Yisrael is the Hebrew word for “Israel.” It was a second name that God gave Jacob. It means “a people who wrestle with God.” The Jewish people are B’nai Yisrael, “The Families-of-Israel.” Our land is Eretz Yisrael, “The Land of Israel.” Yisrael begins with é (Yud).


5674-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:08 AM

Page 2

DO YOU KNOW ANY ISRAELI FOODS? DO YOU KNOW ANY ISRAELI DANCES? DO YOU KNOW ANY ISRAELI SONGS?

Eretz Yisrael has a birthday. It is called Yom ha-Atzma’ut. It is a celebration of the day that Israel again became a country. Yom ha-Atzma’ut is the Israeli Fourth of July. Israel has a big party on Yom ha-Atzma’ut. Jews all over the world have parties too. They eat Israeli foods, dance Israeli dances, sing Israeli songs and wave the Israeli flag.

These people are waving Israeli flags.

WHAT THINGS CAN YOU SEE ON THE ISRAELI FLAG?

© SHAI GINOT/CORBIS


5674-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:08 AM

Page 3

Yisrael begins with letter é (Yud).

Circle the é (Yud) letters.

Plan your trip to Israel. What would you want to take when you visit Israel some day? Circle the three things you most want to take. Camera

Hiking boots

Prayerbook

Hat

Address book

Bible

EXPLAIN YOUR CHOICES.


5674-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:08 AM

Page 4

Here are some places to visit in Israel. Match the city with its picture.

1

2

3

4

_____ Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It is a modern city but has an ancient city in it where King David once lived. _____ Tel Aviv is a new city. It has high skyscrapers. It is a place with many businesses. _____ Eilat is a place to go on vacation. There are great beaches. Colorful fish swim on coral reefs.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU WANT TO SEE WHEN YOU GO TO ISRAEL? ARE YOU PLANNING A TRIP?

_____ Haifa is a big port. It is a place where huge ships dock. The city is built on a mountain overlooking the harbor. ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. • VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM.


5677-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:13 AM

Page 1

“Are you a good person?” is a big question. A Jewish way of asking this question is “Are you a mensch?” Mensch is a Yiddish word that means “good person.” There are two good answers to this question. One is “I don’t know.” The other is “I am working on it.” The secret to becoming a mensch is a special kind of “heartwork” . This work includes going over a checklist of good things we should be doing. It also includes going over the bad things we should not be doing. ARE YOU A MENSCH?

A mensch does not “hurt with words.” We say many things that hurt other people. Sometimes we say mean things. Sometimes we tell secrets that should not be told. Sometimes we refuse to say the words that will help our friends. A mensch is a person who does not hurt friends or family with WHEN HAVE YOU words. A mensch is a person who uses HURT OTHER PEOPLE WITH YOUR WORDS? words to help others.


5677-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:13 AM

Page 2

A mensch is a person who tries to make peace. Such a person is called a Rodef Shalom. A rodef shalom is a person who does not fight with others. A rodef shalom is a person who tries to help other people make peace, too. A rodef shalom uses intelligence and patience to make peace. A mensch is a person who tries to be a rodef shalom. WHEN HAVE YOU MADE PEACE BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE?

íéã›ñ˜ç’ úeìéîÄb

WHEN DO WE DO G’MILUT HASADIM?

G’milut Hasadim is doing good things for other people with your hands, your time, and with your self. It is visiting people who are sick. It is listening to people who are sad. Having patience with people who are angry is g’milut hasadim. Teaching things to people who need to learn is also g’milut hasadim. Tzedakah is when you help other people by giving money. G’milut hasadim is when you help other people with your self. G’milut hasadim begins with the Hebrew letter â (Gimmel).


5677-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:14 AM

Page 3

G’milut Hasadim begins with the Hebrew letter â (Gimmel).

Circle the people with a â (Gimmel) on their T-Shirts.

a

à

â â ì â

â

ì a

The Torah makes it a mitzvah to “love your neighbor as yourself.” A rabbi named Hillel was once asked to explain the whole Torah while standing on one foot. He quoted this mitzvah. He said, “Do not do things WHAT OTHER that you hate to other people.” A mensch THINGS WOULD YOU PUT ON YOUR “A MENSCH tries to follow Hillel’s teaching. SHOULD DO” LIST? I CAN

BECOME A MENSCH BY USING MY

EYES

HANDS

MOUTH


5677-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:14 AM

Page 4

Put a check in the box where the person is: Healing with words

Making Peace

Giving Tzedakah

Loving a neighbor

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND DAVID BLEICHER. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ROBERT HALPER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM.


5692-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:46 AM

Page 1

Mensch Making Mensch is a Yiddish word that means “maximum human being.” One of the major goals of Jewish education and of Jewish family life is to enable our children to become “menschen.” If you go to the bookstore or library you will find shelves of books devoted to telling you how to raise ethical children. If you read the education or psychology journals, you will find endless research on models and theories of “ethical or moral development.” And, not surprisingly, the Jewish tradition is equally rich on the topic. When you correlate and organize these various sources, four basic kinds of actions stand out. In this short space we will provide you with the highlights of each action.

Listing Values and “Deep-Rooting” Them with Stories. The first step in trying to become something is to set goals and develop a set of standards. A common set of values gives you a language to work with. While an “American” list of values gives us words like honesty, courage and responsibility, Jewish sources suggest a very different list.

•Using Case Studies to Rehearse Choosing between Values.

Most problems of “everyday ethics” do not involve the question “Should I be ethical or not?” but rather involve what one should do when two values conflict. These value conflicts demand rehearsals.

•Creating Opportunities to Take Responsibility for Mistakes.

Listing Values Listing values is the most popular form of “moral education” in North America today. William J. Bennett (The Book of Virtues) has headlined a process of “virtue” education where specific values are introduced, defined as good, and then deep-rooted through the telling of stories. This is actually an old Jewish process as well. We have an extensive literature from the Musar movement about midot. The Musar movement was an attempt to analyze the rungs in ethical behavior and to define the way we can control our thoughts and feelings to overcome our worst urges. The Musar movement talks about midot. That is a Hebrew word that means “measures,” and is our version of virtues. The Jewish model of a mensch is a blend, a formula that balances “scoops” of this value with “cups” of that value. For the Jewish tradition, one of the most important of all the midot is “Loving your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19.18) If you look on the back cover of this folder you will find a list of ways that the value of “Loving your neighbor” can be actualized.

The best way to become a good person is to take responsibility when you make mistakes. When we (1) understand the impact of our actions (and how we have hurt others) and (2) when we successfully do the “inner-work” necessary not to repeat those actions, we become better people. This is a very Jewish process, one called “t’shuvah” (repentance), the very essence of the High Holidays. T’shuvah is also designed to be an everyday process.

•Being a Good Role Model. The last part of the “raising a men-

sch” process is setting a good example. Surprisingly, this involves two different commitments. The first is the obvious one, living as kind and ethical a life as you can. The second, the one that is harder, is the willingness to admit mistakes. We all have a tendency to rationalize our behavior and cover up our missteps. Modeling how to admit and correct those missteps is the more important process. CONTINUED ON PAGE

2


5692-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:47 AM

Page 2

We suggest that you copy it, maybe decorate it, and place it in your kitchen. It is the kind of list that you should take down and read as a family every week or two. You should talk about:

•Which of these actions are the easiest to do?

•Which of these actions has been part of our lives recently?

•Which of these actions are most difficult for us to do?

•Are there any of these actions that seem wrong to us? Why do we disagree with them?

Here is one secret. In Hebrew, the word for “neighbor” also means friend. One of our jobs is to turn strangers in neighbors, neighbors into friends.

Value Stories The second step in this process of deep rooting values is to collect and tell stories that express the values you are trying to teach. Here is one such example. A Rabbi gathered three of his congregants and asked each, “What would you do if you found a bag with a lot of money in it?” The first congregant said, “I would immediately return it to its owner.” The rabbi said, “You answered too quickly. I am not sure you are telling the truth.” The second congregant said, “I would keep it—especially if no one saw me pick it up.” The rabbi, “If you did that, you would be doing the wrong thing. That would be dishonest.” The third congregant was poor, a person dressed in rags. The third said to the rabbi, “If I found a bag of money I would pray to God to help me do the right thing. I would want to keep it and I am not sure that I would be strong enough to return it.” The Rabbi said, “You are truly honest.” This story lets you teach two things. (1) That keeping things you find is not right—if you have a way of returning them. (2) In order to do the right thing we all fight urges to do what would be best for us.

Rehearsing Value Choices The problem with just teaching values is that values alone don’t help you make the right choice when two values you believe are in conflict. Rosie O’Donnell was questioned once about two public statements she had made. The first was that gun control was nowhere near strict enough and that people should not own handguns. The second was an announcement that she had hired armed guards to patrol her estate after having received personal threats. The two statements look like they contradict each other until you realize that she was balancing the specific safety of herself and her children against the generalized (and not direct) safety of the community. Most ethical choices are like that. They are not choices about right and wrong—but are rather the balancing of various things we believe in. Usually we have to make these choices too fast. Usually we can barely think when we have to choose immediately. When we rehearse such choices, when we get a chance to argue them through and reflect, we are in much better shape to do the right thing when these problems really happen. The work of Lawrence Kohlberg (Moral Development) and of Howard Kirschenbaum & Sidney B. Simon (Values Clarification) articulate this process. Max Kiddushin (Organistic Thinking) adds a Jewish spin to this procedure. In the previous section we talked about the obligation to return found objects. The Mishnah in the first chapter of Bava Metzia, discusses this question in detail and teaches the following principles.

•If you find something and there is any way of identifying the person who lost it, you must try to return it.

•If you find something on private property, it belongs to the person who owns the property. (The aisles of a store are considered public property not private property.)

•If you find something and there is no way of identifying the person who lost it, you may keep it. (The classic example of a thing that cannot be traced to an owner is loose money.)

•If you cannot locate an owner in a reasonable amount of time, you can keep the found object.

•If you find something and it becomes ruined in your possession,

you are responsible to pay back the owner for the original value. If the thing becomes ruined because of time (like a cake going bad), you are not responsible for paying for it.


5692-1.qxd

06/11/08

10:47 AM

Page 3

•You must try to find the

owner. You can spend money to find the owner and bill the owner for that money when you find him/her. You may not spend more than the value of the object. There are more guidelines given in the Mishnah, but these are enough to work with. Imagine discussing the following situations. What is the right thing to do if…

•You find a ten dollar bill in an airport?

•You find a ten dollar bill in an

envelope on the street with no address but with a return address?

•You find a pile of three ten dollar bills left under a rock on a park bench?

•You find a ten dollar bill hidden under a pillow at your friend’s house?

•You lose your school sweat-

shirt and find another just like it in the lost and found?

•You find a new sweater in an

unmarked bag. The sweater has a label from a chain store that you can find in many places.

•You are playing in your

friend’s backyard when a balloon lands. You are the one who grabs it first, but both of you want it? Feel free to make up lots more. Each of these cases presents a slightly different situation, and when we apply Jewish values each requires a different compromise. It is also really good to take situations out of the newspaper or situations out of your family’s real life, things you see, things that happen at school, even things that happen at work. Each of these becomes a case to talk about and practice solving.

Letting Your Child Take Responsibility for Mistakes The process of parenting is the process of slowly giving children the responsibility for managing their own lives. Our job is make the decisions they are not ready to make—and then give them the ability to make their own decisions as soon as they are ready. Jim Fay (Parenting with Love & Logic), a parent educator, makes it clear that, “We want our children to make as many mistakes as possible—but we want them to make them when the consequences are affordable.” Fay is not Jewish, but his parenting system is very Jewish. Fay’s system is simple to describe. When a child messes up, a child has to fix what was ruined. If something is broken, the child is responsible to replace or mend the broken object. If feelings were hurt, the child is obligated to apologize and reestablish the relationship. If trust has been destroyed, the child is responsible to re-earn and rebuild that trust. The benefits of this process are twofold. First, the child learns first-hand the skills of taking responsibility for their actions—and gets a direct appreciation of the harm that had been done. Second, in contradistinction to the frequently popular system of yelling and punishing, this process builds rather than leeches self-esteem. Here, the parent is saying, “I trust you. Even though you messed up, I believe you can make things right.” More or less, any parenting system that emphasizes “logical consequences” and works on building self-control rather than imposing external controls, works in this classically Jewish direction. The concept of t’shuvah (repentance) that we studied early in the year during the High Holidays had four steps: (a) having a child reflect upon his or her actions, (b) recognizing and taking responsibility for those times when he or she “missed the mark” and did not act in the best possible way, (c) apologizing or in other ways fixing the things that have been hurt or broken through these “missings of the mark,” and (d) doing the “inner-work” necessary to see to it that the urges and weaknesses that lead to this behavior will never do so again. The ideal form of “discipline” at home leads to this kind of “soul-work” by your child. It teaches them that wrong is not about “getting caught” but causing harm. And it teaches them that when one has caused damage, physical or emotional, one takes responsibility and fixes it. Then, one reflects on one’s divergent urges and learns to control those that had gotten out of hand. In this way, every mistake becomes an opportunity for growth. Most importantly, a deeper lesson is learned. God has a great capacity for forgiveness. Parents do, too. When we fully take responsibility—we are always allowed to start over. This third step is the actualizing part of the process. Previously, we defined and tested values. Now we are struggling to make them a real way of life. What is important, however, is that every shortfall in our behavior becomes another opportunity for self-improvement. Here it is important that parents are “strict” in their holding of boundaries and generous in the opportunities for fixing the places where the “mark has been missed.”


5692-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:20 AM

Page 4

Being a Role Model A story makes the responsibility of a role model clear. A father is getting old. He turns his business and his house over to his son on the condition that the son provides for him. The son becomes involved in growing the business and though the family has more, the father receives less and less care. Everyone is busy. Eventually, the father needs to be moved from place to place and fed. One day the son is too tired to feed his aging father. The father cannot feed himself. He makes a mess. The son scrapes the father’s plate into a wooden bowl and tells his father that he can eat like a dog. In the middle of the night, the son cannot sleep because he hears a scraping sound. The son wanders the house and discovers that the sound comes from his own son’s room. He opens the door and finds his son scraping at block of wood with a knife. He asks his son for an explanation and the son replies, “I am beginning to carve the wooden bowl for when you grow old.” The point is simple, our worst behavior, the places where we don’t live up to our own expectations, is often the behavior that most influences our children. In order to be a good role model: (1) we do need to go out of our own way to do the right things, (2) we need to make sure that we are not modeling the wrong things, but (3) most importantly—when we are challenged about our behavior—we need to model how to take responsibility for being wrong and to take corrective action. Teaching our children how to be wrong is a tremendous gift. It allows them to know how to begin working on their own behavior.

Putting it Together These four steps of mensch making are interactive. They build off of each other. What we have presented here is just a foundation—a first explanation. There are many parenting books. What is important in the long run is that you work these basic elements into your own parenting style. You will find your own best way of make these four principles work for you—to help you become a mensch and to teach your children how to become menschen.

Ways of Loving our Family, Friends and Neighbors This list comes from a medieval book called the Orhot Tzadikkim, (The Way of the Righteous). It suggests reciting this ethical creed regularly. You may want to find your own family way of doing just that.

• I should help other people in every way possible according to my ability. • I should go out of my way for both rich and poor equally. • If I have business dealings with others, I must be entirely honest. • I should not be strict with other people when it is only over small things. • I should always try to see to it that other people are happy; but not expect that all other people will always do the same for me. • I should always speak nicely to everyone. • If people cheat me, I will not cheat them back. • I will go out of my way to help others, but will not cause them trouble. • I will not quarrel. • I will greet every person with joy and a pleasant facial expression. This will strengthen love and friendship. • When others are sad or worried, I will comfort them. • If a person tells me one of their secrets, I will not tell them to others even if that person gets me angry. • I will not say bad things about other people and I will not listen when other people say such things. • I will always try to find something good about everyone. • I will show honor and respect to everyone with my actions and with my words. • I will never treat anyone as if they are less than I am.

(The Gate of Love)

COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5676-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:25 AM

Page 1

Lighting Shabbat candles is a mitzvah. It is one of the ways we turn a weekday into a holiday. Lighting candles begins the day of rest.

WHAT JEWISH THINGS

DO YOU DO WITH YOUR FAMILY?

Giving tzedakah is a mitzvah. Tzedakah helps people who are hungry or homeless. It helps people who are sick or sad. Tzedakah turns our money into things needed to help others. Honoring our parents and grandparents is a mitzvah, too. We are required to treat our parents with respect. This means never embarrassing them. It also means making sure that they always have what they need.

éø‹tÀ

Pri is the Hebrew word for fruit. It is a mitzvah to say a blessing over fruit. It is also a mitzvah to say the same blessing over fruit juice or wine. We use fruit juice or wine when we make Kiddush. Kiddush is another way of welcoming Shabbat or a holiday. The word Pri begins with a t (Peh).


5676-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:26 AM

Page 2

It is a mitzvah to study Torah. Jews try to learn as much Torah as possible. The Torah is filled with stories and rules. It is a way to live.

It is a mitzvah to use words carefully. Jews should try not to hurt other people with their words. Jews should try to say things that make friends and family feel better when they are hurting or sad.

It is a mitzvah to eat matzah on Passover. Matzah helps us remember that we were slaves in Egypt. It helps us remember that God took us out of Egypt and set us free. CAN YOU NAME SOME OTHER MITZVOT?

At Home

The blessing over wine or juice is, .ïôÆbˆä— éø‹tÀ àøŒBa ,íìÈBòä˜ CìÆîÆ eðéä•GàÁ éé äz˜àÇ Ceøa˜ Barukh Attah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha-Olam, Borei Pri ha-Gafen Bless You Eternal, our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, Who creates the fruit of the vine.


5676-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:27 AM

Page 3

Pri begins with the letter t (Peh).

NAME A MITZVAH

THAT CAN BE DONE WITH :

CANDLES

MONEY

FOOD

Separate the éø‹tÀ (Pri) from the t (Peh). Circle all the Hebrew t letters.

The Torah is filled with mitzvot. There are 613 mitzvot to be found in it. Some mitzvot are things we should do. Other mitzvot are things we should not do. Mitzvot are the things that Jews do and don’t do to bring the Torah to life. The Torah is the gift God gave us at Mt. Sinai. It is the way we try to live.


5676-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:27 AM

Page 4

Here is a picture of a synagogue before services. Circle all the mitzvot you can find.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, DAVID BLEICHER, PATRICK GIROUARD AND JOEL LURIE GRISHAVER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM.


5669-1.qxd

06/20/08

11:04 AM

Page 1

Shavuot means weeks. The holiday of Shavuot comes exactly seven weeks after Passover. Shavuot is a holiday with two stories. One story is the giving of the Torah. The other story is the celebration of a harvest. Shavuot was the day when Moses went up Mt. Sinai and received the Torah. There was thunder and lighting. God spoke the Ten Commandments. We stood at the bottom of the mountain. We said, “Na’aseh v’nishma.” That was a promise to follow all of God’s WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE laws before we even studied them. Z’MAN OF THE YEAR?

ïîÇæ

Z’man is the Hebrew word for time. Shavuot is the z’man when we remember our adventure at Mount Sinai. Shavuot is the z’man when we brought our first fruits up to the Temple in Jerusalem. The Hebrew name for Shavuot is Z’man Matan Torah, “The time of the giving of the Torah.” Z’man begins with the Hebrew letter æ (Zayin).


5669-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:40 AM

HAVE YOU EVER HELPED TO HARVEST FRUITS OR VEGETABLES?

Page 2

Shavuot was the time when Jews used to leave their farms in the land of Israel. They would go up to Jerusalem for a big celebration. This was called a pilgrimage. Farmers would bring their bikkurim, their first fruits, to the Temple. This was a way of thanking God.

Shavuot has very interesting customs that help us act out the story of Shavuot. Some Jews study Torah all night since the Torah was given to us in the middle of the night.

WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD SOMETHING FROM THE TORAH?

Some Jews only eat dairy foods and have no meat since the Jews in the wilderness did not eat meat.


5669-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:41 AM

Page 3

Z’man begins with the Hebrew letter æ (Zayin).

Cross out every letter that is not æ (Zayin).

Some Jews have a ceremony on Shavuot called Confirmation in which high school students receive the Torah and say “Na’aseh v’nishma.” On Shavuot we also read the story of Ruth. She was a non-Jew who became a Jew. She was a woman who lost her husband but continued to take care of her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth moved from her country, Moab, to Israel with Naomi. Ruth fed Naomi by gleaning in the fields. THE

THREE STORIES OF SHAVUOT ARE:

TEN COMMANDMENTS

BIKKURIM

RUTH


5669-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:42 AM

Page 4

Gleaning is picking up the grain that has been forgotten in a field. Help Ruth by finding all the forgotten sheaves of grain.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, ALLAN EITZEN AND JOEL LURIE GRISHAVER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM.


5673-1.qxd

06/11/08

8:41 AM

Page 1

A year is filled with seasonsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;summer, fall, winter and spring. When you are Jewish, the year is also filled with Jewish holidays. In fall we celebrate Rosh ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simhat Torah. Hanukkah and Tu bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Shvat are celebrated in the winter. In spring we celebrate Purim and Passover. And Shavuot comes at the very beginning of summer. Each one of these holidays tells a story. Each one of them helps us remember the history of the Jewish People Shabbat comes once a week. It is the holiday that leads us throughout the Jewish year. Shabbat tells two stories. On Shabbat we remember that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. Shabbat is that seventh day. On Shabbat we remember that we were slaves in Egypt and God led us to freedom. Once a week we celebrate Shabbat and remember how God brought us to freedom.


5673-1.qxd

06/11/08

8:42 AM

Page 2

Rosh ha-Shanah is the birthday of the world. On Rosh haShanah we remember that God created the world. Yom Kippur is the day we ask God to forgive us for all the times we missed the mark.

Sukkot is a week-long holiday where we eat, spend time, and maybe even sleep in sukkot. When we left our slavery Egypt, we lived in tents for forty years in the wilderness. Then we came to Israel. During the week of Sukkot we remember those years in the wilderness of Sinai.

Simhat Torah is our celebration of Torah. It is the day we finish reading the Torah. It is also the day on which we begin reading the Torah once again. We end and begin at the same time. On Simhat Torah we celebrate all the stories in the Torah.


5673-1.qxd

06/11/08

8:42 AM

Page 3

On Hanukkah we remember the Maccabees. When the Greeks said that the Families-of-Israel were no longer allowed to do Jewish things, the Maccabees fought back and won their freedom. They made the Temple clean and pure. The eight nights of Hanukkah give us a chance to remember their story. Tu B’Shvat is the Rosh ha-Shanah for trees. On Tu B’Shvat we celebrate the trees that God created. On Tu B’Shvat we learn that we are God’s partners.We help God take care of nature and the world. Purim is the day we remember brave Esther and wicked Haman. We put on costumes and dress as beautiful Esther, wise Mordechai or foolish King Ahashuerus. We retell the story of how a brave woman saved the Jewish people from a wicked man. Passover is the time when we remember leaving Egypt. The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt. The Egyptians were cruel to us and we almost died. We cried out to God, and God made miracles. God took us out of the slavery of Egypt and made us free.


5673-1.qxd

06/11/08

8:42 AM

Page 4

Shavuot is the Mount Sinai holiday. On Shavuot we remember that we stood at Mount Sinai and heard God’s voice. It is the celebration of the day when God gave us the Torah. Match the holiday with the story.

We were slaves and God set us free. Sukkot God gave us the Torah

Passover We spent forty years living in the Wilderness of Sinai. Shavuot ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP, ALLAN EITZEN AND JOEL LURIE GRISHAVER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM> VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM


5693-1.qxd

04/26/2004

11:53 AM

Page 1

Jewish Traveling

Summer is an Opportunity Summer is here and class is over. Now, the real Jewish opportunities are available. Summer is a time when you can do lots of Jewish activities just for fun. It is also the time when you can prove that Jewish is something you are—not just something you do. This folder is filled with lots of suggestions of things that will be fun, that will provide wonderful moments with your child and with your family, but also activities that will lead to further Jewish identification and involvement.

Summer Reading The simplest thing you can do is make Jewish books part of your summer reading. It is a great time to read chapter books and explore all kinds of Jewish interests. Every trip to the library can be a search for something interesting and exciting. The times you set aside for reading together can also be times of wondrous conversation. Your synagogue librarian will have a stack of books waiting for you.

During the summer you can make Jewish trips and you can travel Jewishly. There are all kinds of Jewish trips you can take—large and small. There are Jewish destinations in all kinds of interesting places. You can not only go to Israel and New York, but you can also find Jewish museums in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Phoenix, Denver, Miami, Chicago, Durham, Toronto, and in many more North American cities. If you go to the Bahamas, or most places in Europe, even to Australia, there are museums and other Jewish destinations. Almost anywhere you go there is a synagogue to find, and old “Jewish” merchants to discover. No matter where you are traveling or what you are doing—you can find a “Jewish” activity to do along the way. Even if your family is not going to take a trip, summer is the perfect time to explore the Jewish resources of your town. It is a time to visit synagogues and Jewish Community Centers. It is the time find the kosher foods section of your supermarket or the Jewish shelf at your local bookstore. Summer is a great time to make the Jewish part of the world a little bigger for your child. Summer is also the time to take your Jewishness with you. No matter where you travel, it is really easy to take Shabbat with you. Packing candles is easy. Room service always has a roll and a glass of juice or wine for the motzi and kiddush. An “instant” Shabbat is really easy to assemble—and when you create Shabbat “on the road,” you profoundly teach the message that Shabbat is part of who we are—not just something we sometimes do.


5693-1.qxd

06/11/08

11:01 AM

Page 2

Shabbat

• Make great decorations for a sukkah (your own or

Summer is the perfect time to have fun with Shabbat. The days are longer and slower so that the rush to come home from work and produce a formal Shabbat dinner in a few minutes is gone. Summer is a perfect time to have outdoor Shabbat dinners on the back porch or in the yard. It is an easy time to have friends over, letting the kids run around and play while you sit around the table and enjoy yourselves. Imagine a camping Shabbat. Tents and air mattresses, plus a Hallah and some candles in the woods or at the Grand Canyon. It would be the perfect way to find quality, restful, family time—and to do so in a Jewish way. Imagine taking Shabbat to the beach or the mountains. It would be a great memory. Most families are better at having a “Friday” Shabbat experience than a “Saturday” one. Summer would be the perfect time to try out Havdalah, the ceremony that ends Shabbat. In order to make Havdalah three stars have to be visible. Watching for the stars invites stargazing. Imagine taking a star chart in the backyard and combining a Jewish ceremony with some astronomy. Think about the great chances to have conversations about God and infinity and all the other things that children love to ask about as you lay on your back and look at the night sky.

Crafts Projects/Cooking Summer is a time when you can make messes and have time to clean them up. (And summer is often a time when you are endlessly looking for things to do with your children). Somehow summer seems a lot less pressured. That makes summer the time to try all kinds of wonderful Jewish craft and cooking projects that were “good ideas” but that you didn’t have time for during the year.

• Finally learn how to bake you own hallah. • Plant pumpkins or gourds that will become part of your Sukkot celebration.

your synagogue sukkah). Make them now and use them later.

• Make masks or noisemakers that can be used on Purim. Think papier mache around balloons or some other messy process that you would only want to do outside during the summer. Storing the masks away will increase the anticipation of the holiday.

Tzedakah Opportunities Summer is the perfect time to go “hands-on” with a family tzedakah project. It could be a visit to work at a food bank or soup kitchen. It could be emptying the closets or pantry and taking the “finds” to a shelter or other distribution center. It could even be running your own marathon for the tzedakah of your choice with your friends and family contributing toward your favorite mode of travel (book read, lap swim, scooter around the school yard, bicycle without training wheels, etc.) This could be lots of fun and a really good learning experience at the same time.

Day Camp Jewish summer camping is one of those things that make the greatest impact on a child’s Jewish future. While sleep-away camp is the part of this process that packs the real wallop, the process begins with Jewish day camp. Check out the opportunities in your community. Know you are not only reducing the number of activities you have to plan and execute, but you are also taking big steps in building your child’s Jewish future.


5693-1.qxd

06/11/08

11:01 AM

Page 3

Play Dates One of the things that will most greatly influence the success your child’s experiences in religious school is the amount of connection that she or he feels there. That connection is most specifically build through friendships. Four or five friends can more easily sit through classes that are not the most stimulating than one child can sit alone through really exciting experiences. Simply put the deeper the friendships that surround your involvement in the synagogue, the better the experience your child (and you) will have. Summer is the perfect time to help your child “play” with other children in his or her class and summer is the perfect time to create or deepen your relationships with other families at the same time. Think of summer as a great time to build relationships and community.

The Summers of Your Life What is your son or daughter going to be doing Jewishly fifteen summers from now? That may seem like a silly question, but all the research suggests that you will be deciding those things in the next year or two. We want you to think about those choices. A Jewish education is good for many things:

• It can teach the skill of dealing with death and dying. • It can reveal to you your part in the redemption of the world. • It can help you grow the skills to control your own worst tendencies and direct your actions towards your best possible self.

• It can help you find a source of inner peace and at the same time create the disquiet needed to keep you asking important questions.

• It can help you begin to learn who you are. • It can build a strong sense of family, people, a knowing about from where you come. • It can serve as an anchor for ethical behavior and social concern. The frustrating part is that almost none of those things can be learned before you are thirteen. Many of them are things that only an adult can begin to understand. And while you may have heard, and dismissed as rhetorical before, that “Bar or Bat Mitzvah is only a beginning,” for the kind of Jewish learning that is life changing—it is a really profound truth. What we know is this, in trying to build a Jewish future:

• Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah education makes a major difference, perhaps more than any preBar/Bat Mitzvah learning, and much more than the ceremony itself. The actual learning makes a difference and the involvement in the youth community makes even more of a difference.

• Jewish Summer Camps and Jewish Youth Groups greatly enhance the probability that the Jewish tradition will play an important role in your child’s life.

• A high school trip to Israel is frequently the active agent that binds together and actuates the Jewish experiences that have led up to it. A trip to Israel, especially as a


5693-1.qxd

06/11/08

11:02 AM

Page 4

teenager, can make a real difference because it unifies the feelings and knowledge that has come before. Check to see if your community has an Israel savings program.

• Though few parents realize it, the choice of college is also a critical Jewish decision. A college that offers a substantial Jewish population, the opportunity to take Jewish courses, and the chance to participate in Jewish activities, such as Hillel, can literally affect the rest of your child’s life.

• While the above four items have been shown by research to be effective Jewish influences, experiential data suggests that a Jewish job can also be tremendously influential. Teenagers and those in their twenties who work at Jewish summer camps, teach in religious schools, or who serve as youth workers get a double whammy. First of all, one of the best way to learn about Judaism is to accept the responsibility to transmit it. Second, work in a Jewish setting provides them with involvement in Jewish community at a time when most Jews are distanced. This continual Jewish involvement can help to see that Judaism continues to play a major role in your children’s lives. Research has found that by the time children are in second grade parents have decided if they will continue their education after bar/bat mitzvah, if they will go to a Jewish summer camp, if they will go on a high school Israel trip, and whether or not Jewish considerations will be involved in choosing a college. We want you to know that these choices are important. And, as you enter this summer and think about its Jewish possibilities, we want you to think about the rest of the summers to come.

A Jewish Opportunity Book It is customary to purchase “baby books” when a child is born. It is a place to collect photographs and records of your child’s first few years. In a similar fashion, it is a really good idea to create a “Jewish Opportunity Book,” a collection of all the things that are part of your Jewish expectations for your child. This summer would be a great time to create that book.

1 2

Buy a photograph album.

Take a label maker, a calligraphy pen, lots of stickers—whatever works for you—and label all the pages in the book. You should involve your child in doing this with you. The labels should reflect pages that have already happened (like the first day in Religious School) and photographs that you hope to take as your child grows. Drawings will be great for any of the experiences that have already happened from which you do not have photographs. There should be no rules about what non-Jewish events should be included. This is your book.

3

Some of the things that could be included are: (a) first day of Jewish School, (b) Consecration, (c) first time saying the four questions, (d) first day at Jewish day camp, (e) first day at a Jewish sleep-away camp, (f) first junior youth group event, (g) Bar/Bat Mitzvah, (h) first day at Hebrew High School, (i) first senior youth group event, (j) first day as a teacher’s aide in the Hebrew School, (k) Confirmation, (l) trip to Israel, (m) first day as a C.I.T. at a Jewish camp, (n) Hebrew High School graduation, (o) first day of Jewish studies in college, (p) first job as a Jewish teacher, counselor, or youth group advisor, (q) junior year abroad in Israel, etc.

4

The trick is not so much to actually take the pictures but to share the book with your child on a regular basis. Every time you add a picture you should read the whole book together, talking about what it will be like. Feel free to regularly add or subtract pages as life changes your expectations. Just don’t give up your hopes too quickly. Have a great summer!

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE TRIPP AND DAVID BLEICHER. COPYRIGHT © 2000 TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SECOND PRINTING 2004. PRINTED IN CHINA. TORAH AURA PRODUCTIONS • 4423 FRUITLAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90058 • (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • FAX (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <MISRAD@TORAHAURA.COM>. VISIT THE TORAH AURA WEBSITE AT WWW.TORAHAURA.COM.


BJL Beginnings