© 2019 by Rabbi David Paskin

JPaL is a program of Temple Sinai of North Dade
Call Us: 305-932-9012   /   rabbi.david@tsnd.org   /  18801 NE 22nd Ave, Miami, FL 33180

Welcome to the Nitzanim online learning page for JPaL. We're glad you're here. Each month we tackle a different unit of study.

September - Renewal/Yamim Noraim

October - Lifelong Learning/Talmud Torah

November - Holiness/Shabbat

December - Miracles/Hanukkah

January - Living Jewishly

February - Joy/Purim

March - Freedom/Pesach

April - Hope/Israel

 

Throughout the year we also learn Hebrew, participate in t'fillah (prayer) and celebrate middot (Jewish values/character traits.)

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Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

Associate the holiday symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names

Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.

שׁוֹפַר
The שׁוֹפַר (Shofar) is a ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet during Rosh Hashanah services, every day except Shabbat during the Hebrew month of Elul, and at the end of Yom Kippur. There are four sounds of the shofar — tekiah, shevarim, teruah, and tekiah gedolah. Hearing the shofar is a reminder to look at the mistakes of the past year and try to be the best people we can be.
תַּפּוּחִים וּדְבַשׁ
Eating תַּפּוּחִים וּדְבַשׁ
(tapuchim ud'vash - apples and honey) symbolizes a sweet new year. Something we wish for every person.
רִמוֹן
A רִמוֹן (rimon) or pomegranate, symbolizes love. Because it has so many seeds, pomegranates symbolize our hope for lots and lots of love in the new year.
חָלָה
A round חָלָה (challah) reminds us of the never-ending circle of life.
קִיטְל
A קִיטְל (kittel) is a white robe worn on Yom Kippur. It symbolizes new beginnings.
סֻכָּה
The סֻכָּה (sukkah) is a hut that we sit and eat in during the holiday of Sukkot. It reminds us of the booths the Israelites lived in as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
לוּלָב וְאֶתְרוֹג
The לוּלָב (lulav) is a palm branch, which is held with myrtle and willow branches, and an אֶתְרוֹג (etrog), a citron fruit. The four species are held and waved during Sukkot reminding us that God is all around us.
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Describe details of the narrative of the holiday

The story of the Yamim Noraim is all about becoming the best people we can be and being grateful for all the blessings we have been given. As the New Year, Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to look at our actions and decisions from the past year and think about what we might do differently in the year to come. During the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva (the 10 days of Repentance - from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur) we take time to ask for forgiveness from anyone we hurt with our words or actions. Saying "I'm sorry" isn't easy but, especially during this time of year, its really important. 

On Yom Kippur we think about mistakes we have made in our relationship with God. Maybe we haven't been thankful enough. Maybe we haven't seen God in every person. Maybe we haven't taken care of the beautiful earth that God gave us. This season and especially Yom Kippur, is a time to do תְּשׁוּבָה (teshuvah), which means "returning" or "repenting."

The holiday of Sukkot reminds us of how fragile our world and our lives are. Sitting in the sukkah and shaking lulav and etrog also connect us to the natural world and remind us that God is found all around us.

Sequence the holidays in the Jewish calendar

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah it falls on the 1st day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year, is called Yom Kippur. It comes on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The Festival of Booths is known as Sukkot and it begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei and lasts for eight days. The celebration of the Torah is called Simchat Torah and is celebrated on the 23rd day of the month of Tishrei.

Click to download and print our Holiday name flashcards. Just cut and fold them to practice at home!

flashcards.png

Use appropriate holiday greetings

There are lots of different holiday greetings for these holidays. I good one to always fall back on is חַג שָׂמֵחַ (chag sameiach), which means "happy holiday!"

חַג שָׂמֵחַ

Chag Sameiach

Happy Holiday

Here are some more for each holiday:

 

Rosh Hashanah

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה

Shanah Tova

Happy New Year

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה

Shanah Tova U'metukah

A Happy and Sweet New Year

Yom Kippur

גְּמָר טוֹב

G'mar Tov

May it be a good end of the year

גְּמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה

G'mar Chatimah Tovah

May you be sealed for goodness

צוֹם קַל

Tzom Kal

Have an easy fast

Sukkot

מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה...חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן

Moadim L'simcha...Chagim Uz'manim L'sason

This is a tricky one because you say the first two words and then the other person says the last three words.

Recite selected liturgical pieces associated with the holiday

The Yamim Noraim are full of rich and beautiful prayers. On Rosh Hashanah, one t'fillah that we sing many times is called Avinu Malkeinu. Avinu Malkeinu means, "Our Father, our King." Sometimes we imagine God as a parent who makes rules for us and loves us as we grow. This prayer imagines God as our Father and asks God to show us kindness and answer our prayers.

אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ חָנֵּֽנוּ וַעֲנֵֽנוּ כִּי אֵין בָּֽנוּ מַעֲשִׂים עֲשֵׂה עִמָּֽנוּ צְדָקָה וָחֶֽסֶד וְהוֹשִׁיעֵֽנוּ

Avinu Malkeinu chaneinu va'aneinu ki ein banu ma'asim asei imanu tzedakah va'chesed v'hoshieinu

Our Parent, Our Ruler, favor us and answer us for we have no accomplishments; deal with us charitably and kindly with us and save us.

What words do you recognize in this prayer? Maybe the word צְדָקָה or the word חֶֽסֶד? Do you know what they mean?

Listen to Avinu Malkeinu and try to sing along.

The most famous prayer from Yom Kippur is probably Kol Nidrei. Kol Nidrei asks God to forgive us for all of the promises we made that we weren't able to keep. Making a promise is a big deal in Judaism and when we aren't able to keep our promises we often let other people or God down. Kol Nidrei looks like its in Hebrew but actually its written in Aramaic, which was the language spoken by Jews hundreds of years ago. 

כָּל נִדְרֵי וֶאֱסָרֵי וּשְׁבוּעֵי וַחֲרָמֵי וְקוֹנָמֵי וְכִנּוּיֵי. וְקִנוּסֵי דִּנְדַֽרְנָא. וּדְאִשְׁתַּבַּֽעְנָא. וּדְאַחֲרִימְנָא. וּדְאָסַֽרְנָא עַל נַפְשָׁתָֽנָא. מִיּוֹם כִּפּוּרִים זֶה עַד יוֹם כִּפּוּרִים הַבָּא עָלֵֽינוּ לְטוֹבָה. בְּכֻלְּהוֹן אִחֲרַֽטְנָא בְהוֹן. כֻּלְּהוֹן יְהוֹן שָׁרָן. שְׁבִיקִין, שְׁבִיתִין, בְּטֵלִין וּמְבֻטָּלִין, לָא שְׁרִירִין וְלָא קַיָּמִין: נִדְרָֽנָא לָא נִדְרֵי. וֶאֱסָרָֽנָא לָא אֱסָרֵי. וּשְׁבוּעָתָֽנָא לָא שְׁבוּעוֹת:

Kil nidrei ve'esarei ush'vuei vacharamei v'konamei v'chinu'yei. V'kinusei dindarna. ud'ishtabana, ud'acharimna, ud'assarna al nafshatana. Miyom Kippurim zeh, ad Yom Kippurim haba aleinu letovah. Bechulhon icharatna vehon,kulhon yehon sharan. Sh'vikin sh'vitin, betelin umevutalin, lo sheririn v'lo kayamin. Nidrana lo nidrei, V'essarana lo essarei Ush'vuatana lo shevuot.

Listen to Kol Nidrei and try to hum along.

There are lots of blessings and prayers we say especially for Sukkot. You've already learned some of the blessings for sitting in the Sukkah and shaking Lulav and Etrog. One of the most special prayers we say on Sukkot is called Hallel. It's actually more than a prayer, its a whole collection of prayers thanking God for how awesome our world is. Here's one of the prayers from Hallel called B'tzeit Yisrael.

בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם בֵּית יַעֲקֹב מֵעַם לֹעֵז: הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו: הַיָּם רָאָה וַיָּנֹס הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר: הֶהָרִים רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן: מַה־לְּךָ הַיָּם כִּי תָנוּס הַיַּרְדֵּן תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר: הֶהָרִים תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן: מִלִּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חֽוּלִי אָֽרֶץ מִלִּפְנֵי אֱלֽוֹהַּ יַעֲקֹב: הַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם־מָֽיִם חַלָּמִישׁ לְמַעְיְנוֹ־מָֽיִם:

Betzeit yisrael mimitzrayim, beit Ya'akov meam loez. Haytah yehudah lekodsho Yisrael mamshelotav. Hayam ra'ah vayanos, hayarden yisov leachor. Heharim rakedu cheilim, gevaot kivnei tzon. Mah lecha hayam ki tanus, hayarden tisov leachor. Heharim tirkedu cheilim, gevaot kivnei tzon. Milifnei adon chuli aretz, Mlifnei eloah ya'akov. Hahofechi hatzur agam mayim, Chalamish lemayeno mayim.

Listen to B'tzeit Yisrael and try to hum along.

Explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"

A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).

מִנְהָג

Custom

מִצְוָה

Commandment

Identify details in the holiday narrative that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values

Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what the Yamim Noraim are about, what middot do we practice on these holidays? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.

Middot Chart.jpg
  • Create an illustrated dictionary with each symbol and its Hebrew name

    Create a cartoon or storyboard telling the story of the holiday

  • Create holiday cards using the appropriate greetings to share with their family and friends

  • Create a video tutorial teaching the liturgical pieces

  • Make a "Mitzvah" and "Minhag" poster explaining each and showing examples

  • Write and put on a play telling the story and highlighting the values

 
 

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • The Torah is the collective story of the Jewish people and teaches me how to be a part of the Jewish people.

  • The Jewish people began as a family and grew into a nation.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • Who are some of the important characters in the Bible, what are their stories, and why are they important in my life and in my family’s life?

  • How am I like the people in the story and how am I different?

  • What values can I learn from these characters?

  • What are some of the challenges that the families in the Torah face?

Describe how a Torah scroll is written

A Torah is written on a scroll by a trained expert called a Sofer, or scribe. Using a very special feather pen, a special ink and parchment, a sofer takes many months to write a Torah scroll. (Maybe that's one reason why we take such good care of our Torah scrolls!)

Demonstrate understanding that each parsha tells a part of the story of the Torah and together represent the collective memory of the Jewish people

The Torah tells the story of the creation of the world and of the birth of the Jewish people. Beginning with parshat B'reisheet (the Torah portion, B'reisheet), each week we read a different portion from the Torah scroll. Each portion is called a "parsha." Each parsha tells a different part of the story. Download and print our Parsha Cards. After you cut them out see if you can tell what part of the story is in each parsha. The numbers at the bottom of each card tell you:

  • What number parsha it is in the Torah

  • How many positive mitzvot are found in the parsha

  • How many negative mitzvot are found in the parsha

  • How many verses are in the parsha

  • How many words are in the parsha

  • How many letters are in the parsha

Use the words "aron", "bimah" and "amud" in proper contexts

The בִּימָה (bimah) is the platform or stage in the front of the sanctuary. Usually the rabbi and cantor lead the service standing behind the עַמּוּד (amud-podium) that is on the בִּימָה (bimah). The most special part of the whole sanctuary is the אֲרוֹן (aron-ark) where the Torah scrolls are kept. See if you can complete this Mad Libs using these three key words.

Explain why we stand when the Torah is standing

When we see a Torah standing up in the aron or being carried around, we usually stand. This is because we want to show the Torah respect. When you meet an important person you stand up to show respect for how important they are. (Imagine meeting the President of the United States!) We do the same for the Torah. Even though the Torah isn't a person it is our most important symbol of our connection to God and the Jewish people. 

Recognize patterns in Torah narratives and commentaries

The Torah has patterns that seem to repeat over and over again. For example, when Abraham and Sarah are living in the ancient land of Israel there is a shortage of food so they go down to Egypt where there is plenty...where have you heard that story before? As you learn about the different stories in the Torah see if you can find patterns or repeating stories. What can we learn from these patterns?

 

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

Associate the holiday symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names

Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.

צְדָקָה
צְדָקָה (Tzedakah) is about making sure that all of the world's resources (food, water, clothing, education, shelter, etc.) are shared justly. Starting a weekly tzedakah practice as part of your Shabbat routine is a wonderful way for families to reinforce this very special Jewish value.
נֵרוֹת
On Shabbat and holiday evenings we light two נֵרוֹת (nerot) candles. These remind us to both remember and observe these special days.
כּוֹס יַיִן
On Shabbat and holidays we drink a כּוֹס יַיִן (kos yayin) a cup of wine or grape juice with the special blessing “borei pri hagafen.” Wine and grape juice are a symbol of joy and celebration.
חָלָה
חָלָה (Challah) is a braided bread, which is made with eggs. On Shabbat and holidays, a blessing is said over two loaves, symbolizing the two portions of the manna that the Children of Israel collected on Fridays during their Exodus from Egypt.
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Describe details of the narrative of the holiday

Shabbat is the seventh day of the Creation of the world. After making light and darkness; waters below and heavens above; land and oceans; sun, moon and stars; birds and fish; animals and people - God saw all that God had created and said that it was "good." Then God rested from all of God's work and gave us the gift of Shabbat so we could rest from our work as well. 

Click to download and print our Creation Cards. Just cut them out, mix them up, and see if you can put the days of Creation in the right order.

flashcards.png

Click here to take our Creation Quiz!

Quiz Time

Use appropriate holiday greetings

There are two great greetings for Shabbat. One is in Hebrew and the other is in Yiddish. (Yes, you're going to learn a little Yiddish today.) Can you tell which is which?

שַׁבַּת שָׁלוֹם

Shabbat Shalom

Have a peaceful Shabbat

גוּט שַׁבָּת

Gut Shabbos

Have a good Shabbat

Recite selected liturgical pieces associated with the holiday

There are beautiful t'fillot (prayers) that are said especially on Shabbat. Some of the most beautiful come from Kabbalat Shabbat, the Friday evening service that welcomes Shabbat. Here are a few of them. See if you can sing along.

Can you sing along to Romemu?

Can you sing along to Tzaddik Katamar?

Can you sing along to L'cha Dodi?

Explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"

A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).

מִנְהָג

Custom

מִצְוָה

Commandment

Identify details in the holiday narrative that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values

Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what Shabbat is all about, what middot do we practice on this day? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.

Middot Chart.jpg
 
 

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

Associate the holiday symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names

Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.

חֲנֻכִּיָּה
Each night of Chanukah we light another candle on the חֲנֻכִּיָּה (chanukiyah) for a total of 8 candles plus the shamash, the helper candle.
סְבִיבוֹן
A סְבִיבוֹן (sevivon - dreidel) is a toy that kids all over the world play with on Chanukah. There are four letters on the סְבִיבוֹן (nun, gimel, hay and shin - נ ג ה ש). These letters stand for נס גדול היה שם - a great miracle happened there.
לְבִיבוֹת
לְבִיבוֹת (Levivot), also called Latkes, are delicious potato pancakes that are fried in oil.
סֻפְגָּנִיּוֹת
סֻפְגָּנִיּוֹת (Sufganiyot) are jelly donuts. We love eating סֻפְגָּנִיּוֹת on Hanukkah because they are prepared in oil!
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Describe details of the narrative of the holiday

The Hanukkah story tells the tale of the Jews living in Israel when the Antiochus, the Greek leader decided he didn't want anyone living Jewishly anymore. Some Jews went along with this crazy idea just to keep the peace but others, led by the Maccabees, decided to fight against it.

After a terrible battle, the Maccabees overpowered the Greeks and got their Temple back. There was a lot of cleaning up to do and only enough oil for the lamp for one day. Thankfully, a miracle occurred and the oil lasted for eight days.

Click to download and print our Holiday story flashcards. Just cut them out, mix them up and see if you can put them in the right order.

flashcards.png

Sequence the holidays in the Jewish calendar

חֲנֻכָּה (Chanukah) is celebrated at the darkest time of the year, in the middle of winter. It comes after a long month of no Jewish holidays at all (except for Shabbat.)

Click to download and print our Holiday name flashcards. Just cut and fold them to practice at home!

flashcards.png

Use appropriate holiday greetings

Chanukah isn't just a holiday - it's the Festival of Lights. That's why we share this special greeting on Chanukah:

חַג אוּרִים שָׂמֵחַ

Chag Urim Sameiach

Happy Festival of Lights

Recite selected liturgical pieces associated with the holiday

You already know the blessings for lighting the Chanukiyah. Here are two songs that we sing for Chanukah. The first is Maoz Tzur and we sing it after lighting the Chanukah candles. The second is Al Hanisim and we sing this during services each day of Chanukah.

מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ.

תִּכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ.

לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ.

אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ.

Maoz Tzur yeshuati l'cha na'eh l'shabeiach

Tikon beit t'filati v'sham todah n'zabeiach

L'et tachin matbeiach mitzar ham'nabeiach

Az egmor b'shir mizmor Chanukat hamizbeiach

Rock of Ages let our song, praise Your saving power;
You amidst the raging foes, were our sheltering tower.

Furiously they assailed us, but Your arm saved us
And Your word broke their sword, when our own strength failed us.

See if you can sing along to Maoz Tzur

See if you can sing along to Al Hanisim

עַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן וְעַל הַגְּבוּרות וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעות וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמות שֶׁעָשיתָ לַאֲבותֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה:

Al hanisim v'al hapurkan v'al hag'vurot v'al hat'shu'ot v'al hamilchamot she'asita la'avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.

We praise You for the miracles and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and for the victories and for the battles that You performed for our ancestors in those days at this time

Explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"

A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).

מִנְהָג

Custom

מִצְוָה

Commandment

Identify details in the holiday narrative that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values

Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what Chanukah is all about, what middot do we practice on this day? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.

Middot Chart.jpg

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Living Jewishly brings the Torah to life

  • Being a Jew makes me unique and special in the world

  • I can see the world through "Jewish eyes" and make good choices guided by Jewish teachings and values

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • How do I show gratitude?

  • How does being Jewish make me different than other people?

  • How does being Jewish change the way I behave and act in the world?

Demonstrate understanding of why many Jews choose to dress up or differently on Shabbat and holidays

What we wear says a lot about what's important to us. If I wear a sports jersey that tells people that I love sports. If an adult wears a white lab coat that tells me that they work in medicine. On Shabbat and Jewish holidays, we want to show the world that these days are important to us. That's why we dress differently on these days. Some people like to dress up for Shabbat and holidays. Other people wear white as they celebrate. Lots of people choose to wear a kippah and tallit, especially when they are at temple praying.

What do you wear on Shabbat and holidays that shows your friends that these days are important to you?

Demonstrate understanding of the role of the rabbi, cantor and shaliach tzibur in the ritual life of the synagogue

It takes many people to build a Jewish community. Two of those people are the rabbi and cantor. In smaller communities that don't have a rabbi or cantor, a Shaliach Tzibur leads the community in prayer. Shaliach Tzibur means messenger of the congregation.

Many synagogues have a rabbi who teaches and cares for people in the community. 

Many synagogues have a cantor who leads services, and shares beautiful music.

How much do you know about your rabbi and cantor? Take our quiz below to find out. If you don't know the answer - ask your rabbi or cantor!

how much do you know.jpg

Distinguish between menorah and hanukkiyah and demonstrate understanding of the connection between the menorah and the ner tamid

A chanukiah is a type of candelabra, with nine candle holders. Eight candles are in a line and the ninth candle is out of place, either at a different height or in a different position on the Chanukiah. They come in all shapes and sizes as long as there are eight candles at the same height and in line with each other with a ninth candle misaligned, then it is classed ‘Kosher’ Chanukiah. The Chanukiah represent the miracle of the oil burning for eight days instead of one. Every day of Chanukah Jewish families get together at sunset and light the Chanukiah, one day at a time so that on the eighth day, all the candles are burning bright. The one candle that is out of place is known as the service candle or in Hebrew the ‘Shamash’. It is used to light all the other candles on the Chanukiah and it is lit first. The rest of the Chanukiah is lit from right to left.

The other type of candelabra is known as a Menorah and is more of a symbolic object. It dates back to the time of the first temple in Jerusalem. It consists of seven branches of candle holders and does not have a ‘Shamash’ out of place. The Menorah is one of the oldest symbols in Judaism. The high priests known as the ‘Kohanim’ used to light the menorah in the temple every evening, using olive oil to burn. The Menorah is known as a symbol of the Jewish Faith and Religion. In every Synagogue all over the world, there is a light placed above the Arc which holds the scrolls of the Torah, Jewish Bible. It is known as the ‘Ner Tamid’ (The everlasting light).This light represents the menorah from the original temples. There are also Menorahs placed in synagogues as ornaments as they are beautiful decorations and remind the Jews of the temples which were destroyed.

The difference between the Hanukiah and Menorah is that the Hanukiah is lit on the festival of Hanukkah and the Menorah is not. In addition, the Menorah has fewer branches than the Hanukiah and does not have an out of place ‘Shamash’. The menorah is just a symbol representing the Jewish faith.

Categorize foods as Biblically kosher or not kosher

The word “kosher” means “fit” or “proper”. It means that something is OK to eat. The laws of Kashrut (dietary laws) come from the Torah and were added to over time by rabbis who made them clearer so people could follow them in everyday life.

Many people ask: “Do you think God cares what we eat?” What they are asking is really “Do you think God cares?” God cares for you as a person and would like you to follow the laws of the Torah so that you can be the best person you can be.

According to the Torah there are certain animals we are not allowed to eat. Animals have to have split hooves, which means their hoof is split into two toes and they have to chew their cud. This means that animals chew their food, swallow it and then bring it back up and chew it again. (Kind of gross huh?) Click on the images below to find out which animals are kosher according to the Torah.

Recite blessings over food including: Pri ha'adamah, pri ha'eitz Shehakol nihiyeh bidvaro

There is so much to be thankful for - especially all of the delicious food we get to eat. Jews show thanks by saying blessings and there are different blessings for different kinds of foods. 

For vegetables we say:

 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

For fruits we say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ

For everything else we say:

 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרוֹ

Here's the blessing for everything else.

Identify key characteristics of Brit Milah and Brit Bat

It's so exciting when a new baby is born. To celebrate, we have two special events: Boys have a Brit Milah and girls have a Brit Bat. At both ceremonies the baby gets his or her Hebrew name. They also take part in a ritual that welcomes them into the covenant of Abraham and Sarah. A covenant is a promise. Long ago, God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a big family and a beautiful home. Abraham and Sarah promised God that they would work every day to be the best people they could be and follow God's commandments. 

Learn more about Brit Milah.

Learn more about Brit Bat.

 

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

Associate the holiday symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names

Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.

מְגִלָּה
On Purim the story of Esther is read from a special scroll called a מְגִילָּה (megillah). The מְגִילָּה is unrolled and then folded like a letter from the king as it is read.
רַעֲשַׁן
When we hear Haman’s name we make loud noises to drown it out. One way to do this is to use a רַעֲשַׁן (ra’ashan) or grogger.
אָזְנֵי הָמָן
אָזְנֵי הָמָן (Oznei Haman) are also called Hamantaschen. They are delicious triangle-shaped cookies filled with poppyseeds, fruit or chocolate. אָזְנֵי הָמָן remind us of the 3-cornered hat worn by Haman.
מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת
One of the mitzvot of Purim is to give מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת (Mishloach Manot) - gifts to our friends and family. מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת usually contain hamantaschen and other sweets.
מַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים
On פּוּרִים we give gifts to those less fortunate than us. This mitzvah is called מַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים.
Show More

Describe details of the narrative of the holiday

The Purim story is an amazing tale of bravery and courage. Check out this video of the Purim story and then challenge yourself to put the story in the correct order.

Click to download and print our Holiday story flashcards. Just cut them out, mix them up and see if you can put them in the right order.

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Sequence the holidays in the Jewish calendar

Purim means "lots". Not as in, "I ate lots of cookies", but as in "casting lots." To cast lots means to make a decision. We call this holiday Purim or "casting lots" because it was on this day that Haman cast lots and decided the day on which he would punish all the Jews for not bowing down to him.

Click to download and print our Holiday name flashcards. Just cut and fold them to practice at home!

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Use appropriate holiday greetings

Since Purim is such a happy holiday - it's a great time to wish someone a Happy Purim. In Hebrew we say, חַג פּוּרִים שָׂמֵחַ. 

חַג פּוּרִים שָׂמֵחַ

Chag Purim Sameiach

Happy Purim!

Recite selected liturgical pieces associated with the holiday

Do you remember the prayer Al Hanisim that you learned on Chanukah? Well guess what - Purim is all about miracles also so we say this prayer on Purim also.

See if you can sing along to Al Hanisim

עַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן וְעַל הַגְּבוּרות וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעות וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמות שֶׁעָשיתָ לַאֲבותֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה:

Al hanisim v'al hapurkan v'al hag'vurot v'al hat'shu'ot v'al hamilchamot she'asita la'avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.

We praise You for the miracles and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and for the victories and for the battles that You performed for our ancestors in those days at this time

Explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"

A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).

מִנְהָג

Custom

מִצְוָה

Commandment

Identify details in the holiday narrative that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values

Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what Purim is all about, what middot do we practice on this day? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.

Middot Chart.jpg
 

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

Associate the holiday symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names

Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.

Describe details of the narrative of the holiday

קְעָרָה
קְעָרָה (K’ar’ah) is the Hebrew word for Seder plate. The קְעָרָה holds all of the important symbols we use during our Passover Seder.
מַצָּה
מַצָּה (matzah) is bread that was baked before it had time to rise. We eat מַצָּה on Pesach to remind us of how quickly the Israelites ran out of Egypt. So quickly they didn’t even have time for their bread to rise.
הַגָּדָה
The הַגָּדָה (Haggadah) means, “the telling” and it's the book we use to tell the story of our escape from slavery in Egypt.
מְרוֹר
מְרוֹר (Maror) are bitter herbs that we eat at the Passover seder. מְרוֹר remind us of how hard it was to be a slave in Egypt and how some people in the world still suffer.
כַּרְפַּס
כַּרְפַּס (karpas) is the green vegetable that we eat at the beginning of the Passover seder. It reminds us that Passover is the Spring festival and that this is a time of new beginnings.
חֲרֹסֶת
A חֲרֹסֶת (charoset) is the sweet and delicious apple dish that we dip our maror into. The חֲרֹסֶת symbolizes the mortar that the Israelites used to make the bricks in Egypt.
Show More

One of our favorite movies that tell the story of Pesach is the Prince of Egypt. You'll have to pay to watch it so ask ima or aba but its worth it!

Click to download and print our Holiday story flashcards. Just cut them out, mix them up and see if you can put them in the right order.

flashcards.png

Sequence the holidays in the Jewish calendar

Passover in Hebrew is פֶּסַח (Pesach). The word פֶּסַח means, "pass over". The name reminds us of how God "passed over" the homes of the Israelites during the 10th plague to save the first-born sons. פֶּסַח is also called חַג הָאָבִיב (Chag Ha'aviv) or the Spring festival since Passover always falls in the spring.

Click to download and print our Holiday name flashcards. Just cut and fold them to practice at home!

flashcards.png

Use appropriate holiday greetings

Passover is a wonderful holiday that we spend with family and friends. Next time you have people over to your home for a Passover seder, why not greet them with the words חַג שָׂמֵחַ.

חַג שָׂמֵחַ

Chag Sameiach

Happy Holiday

Recite selected liturgical pieces associated with the holiday

The Haggadah has lots of prayers and readings that we can learn. Probably the most important is the Four Questions. We ask, "Why is this night different from other nights?" After remembering all of the amazing miracles that God did for us we sing, "Dayeinu" saying, "if God had only done one of these amazing miracles it would have been enough.

Listen to the Four Questions below and try to sing along.

Listen to Dayeinu below and try to sing along.

Explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"

A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).

מִנְהָג

Custom

מִצְוָה

Commandment

Identify details in the holiday narrative that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values

Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what Passover is all about, what middot do we practice on this day? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.

Middot Chart.jpg
 

Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that...

  • Israel is the Jewish homeland and has been for 4,000 years

  • Israel is a vibrant democracy in a troubled region

  • Israel is an ancient land and a high-tech giant

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • How is Israel both a Jewish state and a democratic state?

  • How can Israel be both a homeland for the Jews and a welcoming country to all peoples?

  • How is Israel's diversity a source of strength?

Demonstrate understanding that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the Kotel is in Jerusalem

The capital of Israel is Jerusalem. Jerusalem has both an "old city" and a "new city." The "new city" is modern and is where the Knesset, the Israeli government meets. The "old city" is very old and is where the Kotel (Western Wall) is.

Name three elements that make Israel uniquely Jewish.

  1. Hebrew is one of the two official languages of Israel (the other is Arabic.)

  2. Jews have lived in Israel for thousands of years since Abraham and Sarah.

  3. Most buses and trains stop on Shabbat and holidays. Many stores are closed also.

What other things make Israel uniquely Jewish?

Explain what the Knesset is and its main functions

The Knesset is the branch of government in Israel that makes the laws. The Knesset is like the Congress in the United States. There are 120 people who serve in the Knesset and one of them gets to be Prime Minister. The Prime Minister in Israel is a little bit like the President of the United States. (There is a President of Israel but that job isn't as important as the Prime Minister.)