With a long break since our last post, we are back up and running in Jewish Studies class!
We have been catching up on the juicy stories of the weekly Torah Portion, which we have missed. The past few weeks have been loaded with all the details that lead up to the relocation of the Jewish people to the land of Egypt.
First grade learned about Jacob’s time at his father in laws house when he ran away from Rachel. We learned about the importance of never shaming anyone, which Rachel was so careful not to do.
We discussed how Jacob prepared for a difficult encounter with his brother Esav by both taking practical measures to ensure safety and success and also beseeching Gd for protection and guidance, since ultimately His will is what resides. Jacob did indeed merit a miracle, as Esav hugged and cried on Jacobs shoulder when they met rather than waging war.
We learned about Jacobs 12 sons, who became the 12 tribes of Israel, and compared them to the sons of the other forefathers. Jacob was the first of the forefathers who merited to have fully righteous offspring who would all merit to be founders of the Jewish people.
However, we saw that the 12 brothers were weary of whether they would all be worthy to be a part of the Jewish nation, which was at the crux of the rivalry between the brothers.
Joseph was sold to Merchants who brought him down to Egypt. Ultimately, Joseph became the viceroy of Egypt and was the one who provided all the people in Egypt with food during a 7 year drought. Their search for food, brought the remaining 11 brothers down to Egypt where Yoseph recognizes them and tests them to see if they had repented for the misdeed they had done. He creates a situation where his youngest brother is put in danger to see whether the brothers would rise to protect Binyamin. When Yehudah courageously and relentlessly Â steps up to protect Benjamin, Joseph finally breaks down to tears and reveas his identity to his brothers. Joseph comforts his brothers rather than reprimanding them saying that all that they had done to him was orchestrated by G-ds hand to allow for him to offer their family protection during this time. Joseph and the Pharoh extend an invitation to the family of Jospeh to come down to Egypt where they would be taken care of. They came down with 70 souls.
First grade had a chance to discuss the significance of dreams as there were at least 6 dreams recounted in the recent Torah portions.
We have also been using the past couple of weeks to prepare for our Siddur Ceremony. The students are beyond excited. We have been reviewing what they have learned the past year and a half about Tefilah at AJA. From the philosophy behind prayer, to the text, motions and meanings of individual prayers, we wanted to make sure we have it all wrapped up for our special occasion on Feb 1!
We hope to see you there!