1st Grade Judaics

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Shalom!

It has been another wonderful few weeks in 1st grade Judaics!

As we wrapped up our unit on Shabbat, we began to explore other special times in Judaism.

We first took a look at the Hebrew calendar. We discussed many fundamental ideas revolving around Jewish date keeping. We learned that the Hebrew months are completely separate and different from the months of the Gregorian calendar. This means that the first Jewish month in not just a different name for the month of January, nor is it always during the month of October
as it falls out this year. This is because the JEWISH CALENDAR follows the lunar cycle. We practiced our calendar reading skills by analyzing and discussing the different things we found in our Jumbo calendar. We saw that all Fridays have a little candle symbols to signify the onset of Shabbat. Interestingly, we found that other days “randomly” had that symbol, as well. We learned that candles are also lit prior to the onset of the other Jewish Holidays, such as Rosh Hashana, this Sunday night. (The blessing over the candles, however, is different).

We then went in to a very deep exploration of the month we are in- the last month of ELUL, and what its significance is. Every Jewish month has its own flavor and power. Elul being the last month of the year, is a month of preparation for the upcoming holiday-the Brand new year. Rosh Hashana. In that light we learned about the significance of blowing the SHOFAR each day in the month of Elul, even though Shofar is really a mitzva for Rosh Hahsana. We explored the concept of TESHUVA “Returning” (ie Repentance): What it is, How it works, and how we do it. We discussed what it means to try and be better and why striving for improvement and growth is the best path to success in all areas of life.
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Lastly, we discussed different aspects pertaining to ROSH HASHANA itself. We discussed the significance and history of the powerful day and the fact that it marks a renewal for us and the world. Additionally, it is called “YOM HAZIKARON,” “Day of remembrance” since Hashem remembers all we have done in the past year: our good and not so good deeds. We did some remembering and accounting of our years. What was amazing, is that we learned that when we do Teshuva, Hashem “erases” those misdeeds, so to speak, from his memory. That is what we signify when we perform TASHLICH on Rosh Hashana; we go to a body of water and we “throw away” our misdeeds. We show we do not want them, we cast them off and resolve to be better…

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It is a new year. We are fresh. We are clean. We have a brand new start!

I wish you all that that this year be a year full of growth, a שנה טובה ומתוקה  and  may it be the best year yet!

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