Enduring Understandings:

You 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?

I can sequence the five books of the תּוֹרָה in Hebrew and English

The תּוֹרָה contains the Five Books of Moses. These five books בְּרֵאשִׁית, שְׁמוֹת, וַיִּקְרָא, בַּמִּדְבָּר, דְּבָרִים (B'reisheet, Sh'mot, Vayikra, Bamidbar and Devarim) tell the story of the Creation of the world and the birth of the Jewish people. Each book has a Hebrew and English name. What do these Hebrew and English names tell you about each book? 











I can describe how the parshiot of the תּוֹרָה are categorized into five books

Each week we read a different portion from the תּוֹרָה scroll. Each portion is called a פָּרָשָׁה (Parsha). There are 54 parshiot (portions) in the תּוֹרָה split up amongst the five books. Have you ever heard of any of these parshiot? The words at the top mean, "The Five Books of the תּוֹרָה."


Create movie posters for each book of the Torah naming some of the parshiot and telling what the book is about

I can identify the מְעִיל, יַד, כֶּתֶר, חֲגוֹרָה, עֲצֵי חַיִּים

There are lots of special items of "clothing" that the תּוֹרָה is dressed in.

The יַד (Yad) is the pointer used so that our hands don't touch the letters of the Torah.
The מְעִיל (Me'il) is the covering for the Torah.
The כֶּתֶר (Keter) is the crown that goes on top of the Torah.
עֲצֵי חַיִּים
The עֲצֵי חַיִּים are the two rollers around which the scroll is wrapped. We use them to hold the Torah.
The חֲגורָה (Chagura) is the belt that holds the Torah together when it is not being read.

See if you can use all of these words properly in our Torah Mad Libs.

Create your own Mad Libs using the words that you've learned.

I can lift and dress the תּוֹרָה (hagbah and gelilah)

In the book of Nehemiah (which is in the TaNaKh or Bible) we learn that the scribe Ezra "opened the book in the sight of all the people” (Neh. 8:5) The "book" he opened was the Torah. This is why, after we read from the תּוֹרָה, we lift it so everyone can see what we just read. This lifting is called הַגְבָּהָה (Hagbah.) After we lift the תּוֹרָה it's time to dress it back in its special  כֶּתֶר ,מְעִיל ,חֲגוֹרָה (belt, cover and crown). The dressing of the תּוֹרָה is called גְּלִילָה.

Learn how to lift and dress the תּוֹרָה

I can tell the difference between תּוֹרָה narrative and interpretation in selected texts

Sometimes it's hard to tell what part of a story is from the תּוֹרָה and what is an interpretation by the rabbis. An interpretation is a teaching that tries to explain the meaning of particular text. An interpretation can also fill in the gaps in a story if details are missing.

Here's an example: In the תּוֹרָה, we read that just before Moses dies, at the end of the תּוֹרָה, "God showed Moses the whole land of Israel." There are a bunch of questions this verse raises like, how did God do this - Israel is small but not that small - it's a whole country! How could Moses have seen the whole land from the top of one mountain?

An interpreter (or commentator) named Or Hachayim who lived in the 1700's says that God gave Moses supernatural eyesight so he could see the whole land. Or Hachayim didn't see this supernatural eyesight in the text of the תּוֹרָה but he added it as an interpretation to help us understand what the תּוֹרָה meant when it said that God "showed Moses the whole land of Israel."

Think of stories that you've learned about the תּוֹרָה. Do you know how much of those stories is actually in the תּוֹרָה and how much is interpretation? Can you look up those stories in the תּוֹרָה and find out?

© 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