I love this time of year! Tishrei (the 1st month of the Jewish year) is stuffed with 4 different Jewish Holidays! Each holiday is imperative to Jewish life and has so much to teach!
For our Rosh Hashana study we took a close look at the various different aspects of Rosh Hashana. Just as a person has multiple names, all of which tell us something about that person and his or her relationships, Rosh Hashana, too, has different names, each describing a certain property of the holy day. Ill explain: if my last name is “Kirschbaum,” it informs one of which family I belong to. My first name is “Yonit,” it is the name I was named at birth, according to Jewish thought that name holds my essence. My kids call me “Mom,” it informs that I am a parent. ” My students call me “Morah,” I am a teacher. ” No one calls me “Swish,” but if they did, it would likely imply I am good a basketball… I am not.
The 3 names of Rosh Hashanah we explored this year are: Yom Hazikaron, Day of Remembrance. Yom HaDin, Day of Judgement. Yom Teruah, Day of the Shofar Blast. We took a close look at what Hashem remembers and judges on this day and how He does it. We also focused of the SHOFAR closely, how it is made, the different sound and their meaning. Hearing the Shofar is the main Mitzvvah of the holiday. Hence the 3rd name above.
(Note: There are 2 more names for Rosh Hashanah that we learned last year and reviewed this year. “Birthday of the world” and “New Year”)
And if that weren’t enough, we also took a look at the other customs and symbols of Rosh Hashanah and their significance: The cards, apples and honey, pomegranates, round challah, fish and more.
On to Yom Kippur!
We only had 4 classes for this HOLY day and we sure made the most of them.
We discussed the gift of Yom Kippur and a second chance. We spoke about the magic of Yom Kippur (ask them about our class Magic!) , how it erases completely anything we have done Teshuvah for, and how we are likened to angels after Yom Kippur, when we have properly done Teshuvah.
Your child is familiar with the 4 components of sincere Teshuvah/asking for Forgiveness: Not being currently involved int he action, feeling remorse for the action, apologizing, and being committed to do your best to improve. Each child practiced going through these steps and we questioned what it would be like if any of the components were missing. (an apology without remorse anyone?)
Lastly, we studies the book of Yonah, which is read on Yom Kippur to remind us of the Power of Teshuvah, that anyone can be forgiven for absolutely anything they have done.
And REALLY lastly, we learned about the other mitzvot and customs of the day.
May you all be inscribed and sealed for a year of happiness, health, prosperity and growth.