After a snow cancellation and two weeks of winter break, it was nice to see everyone again and to resume our various areas of study!
The class is currently screening a rough-cut of the prayer interviews we recorded and making observations about what they are hearing from you, their parents, and other adults from our congregation. There is diversity as well as much commonality in the thoughts and feelings expressed in the interviews, and we are using the data we gathered to generate more questions about the role and function of prayer in our lives. The students will be writing some personal reflection pieces, and we hope eventually to incorporate their thoughts into the finished video that emerges.
Our weekly Torah study was somewhat truncated this week so that we could view the prayer videos, but we did watch a very interesting and thought-provoking video commentary on the parasha "Beshalach" (below). The parasha, itself, describes the parting and crossing of the Sea of Reeds, and the early days of the Israelites in the desert. The video focuses on the challenging of trusting other people's experience of God. It presents an interesting explanation of why Jews don't believe that anyone has a monopoly on God, and why the only people you need to trust are your parents.
In the Hebrew section, we have been working on understanding the vocabulary and recurring phrases that we find in blessings, and we discussed the significance of the formula used to give thanks to God. Students worked in our Hebrew primer and began making a list of vocabulary words from the common brachot (blessings) in their notebooks. Please be sure that your child has a notebook to leave at the school for use in their Hebrew studies.