It is great to be back in full swing after a long, refreshing winter break!
After ending the semester with an incredibly rich unit on the history, customs, and message of Chanukkah, we began the second half of the year with great excitement, preparing for our Siddur ceremony next month. Over the past year and a half, your child has been learning about the technical aspects as well as the philosophy and thought behind the Mitzvah, or prayer. Now, we are working on bringing all those incredible ideas together to present to present in honor of the special occasion of receiving their first siddurim, prayer books.
It has also been a pleasure to watch our 1st graders grapple with the parsha on an in depth but practical level, as they try to understand the lessons that are found throughout the Torah.
Some of the highlights have been exploring responsibility (from Yaakov who went back for his forgotten jugs), the topic of faith vs. effort. (that sounds better in Hebrew :-/ from Yaakov who prayed but also took strategic steps to be safe when encountering angry Esav and his army ), and being careful about what we say (from Yosef who innocently instigated his brothers by sharing things that were slightly upsetting). We spoke about Judaisms idea of why G-d sometimes makes “bad” things happen and that G-d is with us throughout hard times (as he was with Yosef on his way down to Egypt in a carriage full of spices). We used the analogy of a parent giving their child medicine (not the yummy pink one, the gross purple one!); While it seems awful to the unknowing child, it is actually solely for their good!
Additionally, we are focusing on the Torah Family tree, as the students get more acquainted with the characters in the Torah and their relationships to one another.
Looking forward to another learning and growth filled month!