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Kiddush Cups and T'shuvah Rap

This Sunday, we spent some time catching up on the Torah stories we missed between Grandfriends' Day and Hanukkah. Our youngest classes spent some time making goblets for themselves that would be worthy of using to trick your brothers into thinking you were going to enslave one of them... Well, they did hear the story of Joseph and his brothers, and how Joseph tricked the brothers with his silver goblet. But the kiddush cups they painted will hopefully never be used for such dubious purposes. I think the cups will be a lovely addition to the Shabbat bags the Gan, First, and Second grade classes will bring home at the end of the school year!

I can tell that the students put a lot of thought into them!

Our older students spent their time working to understand the meaning of the Torah portion: they explored what it means to do the work of t'shuvah (atoning for sins). This is a concept we discussed over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and we returned to it because Joseph's brother Judah--the guy who gave Judaism its name!--worked on learning how to atone for the sin of selling his brother into slavery.

They also considered what it means to have a moral compass, and where their moral compasses might lead them. I often wish that I could split myself into several pieces, so that I could observe each of the discussions. At our teacher meeting after the students went home, Alexander was particularly impressed with the depth of conversation he had with our third through fifth grade students.

I am still pondering some of the questions our sixth and seventh grade students raised, such as what it means to forgive someone, and how Joseph could say that G-d had a plan that required his brothers to sell him into slavery if we humans have free will. And I was so pleased with the rap they wrote to explain the parasha that I am going to share it with you:

Judah does some T’shuvah,
He knows what he did was wrong.
Sold his brother into slavery,
Made him work so hard and long.

Wasn’t seen for twenty years,
For years he was gone.
Found his brother with the Pharaoh,
Told him ‘bout their dad and mom.

Dad picked a new favorite,
Little one was Benjamin.
Joseph wasn’t happy
Made them bring Benny in.

When the time came Joe told ‘em who he really was
We just stood there in shock because…
Didn’t know he was still alive. Thought he died a slave.
But as shocking he’s still here today!

Judah said he’s sorry for what he had done.
Shouldn’t have thrown you on that slave cart,
It couldn’t have been fun.

Now we’re done.

Coming Up:

Friday, December 21: We will have Masa from 4:00-6:00; Stories with Rabbi Brent at 5:00, Mini Minyan at 5:30, Kiddush and Potluck at 6:00, Shabbat services at 7:00.

Sunday, December 23-Sunday December 30: There will be no Masa until Friday, January 4th. Enjoy the break!

Learning at HomeFor those who would like to do some learning over the break, there are some good resources on this page. Click the internal links to jump to the sections you're most interested in (Music, Videos, and Websites). 

Thu, June 27 2019 24 Sivan 5779