Our Heritage is so rich and our Kindergartners are getting to taste from it all!
Tefilah-prayer. The weekly Torah Portion-“parasha.” Shabbat. Holidays. Customs. Mitzvot. And even philosophy! We are very busy!
Since kindergarten was learning about the 5 senses, we took the opportunity toÂ explore the role of our bodies and our senses in our lifelong mission of being good people and good Jews. We discussed how all 5 of our senses are used to doÂ various different mitzvot. And made a class project that charted the Mitzvot we discovered involved sight, smell, taste, hearing or touch. Since it was right after sukkot, we examined a lulav and etrog- the Â spices of the holiday, to see if we could figure which body part each “Spice” corresponds to. The children were able to conclude on their own the exact same concussion that the sages of past wrote! The lulav symbolizes and looks like the spine, the hadassim =eyes, the aravot=lips and etrog=heart. When we shake the spices we symbolize that we will use our whole bodies to do mitzvot and good deeds.
WeÂ also took time to discuss and appreciate theÂ wonder of our body and how perfectly all our body parts work together. Â We introduced the prayer that one says to thank G-d for our bodies. In appreciation for our wonderful bodies we made a beautiful, large plaque with this blessing of “Asher-Yatzar” that we will give as a gift to the school.
Your children were ecstaticÂ to start learning the weekly Parsha!
Simchat Torah marked the completion and renewal of the weekly Torah portion cycle and was the occasion we were waiting for to start delving in to the story of the Jewish People and the world. The text of the Torah.
We learned that the Torah consists of 5 books and learned the Hebrew names of the books through a cute and simple song. We discussed what the Torah is and why we learn it. Aside form being an account of Jewish history, Torah, literally means “instructions.” The Mitzvot found with in the Torah are meant to be guidelines for us to achieve happy, successful and fulfilling lives.
Parashat Bereshit, the first chapter of the first book, starts Wayyy at the “Begining” with the creation of the world and the first man and woman. We learned about the first man and woman and the tree of knowledge (which is, by the way, an inaccurate translation of the Hebrew text). We learned about Kayin and Hevel, Â Noah and the flood, the tower of Bable, Avraham, the promise of the land of Israel to Abraham, Yitzchak and the story of Yakov and Esav. We are currently holding at Parashat Â “Toldot,”still in the first book. Next week will be parashat “Vayetzei.”
I have been asked to send a link to a summary of the weekly Torah Portion and will start to do that next week.
Lastly, we have begun to speak about the Land of Israel as the home of the Jewish people. This will be another unit of study within our JS class.
Wishing you all the best,