© 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

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 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!)

Create your own "Torah Scroll" by creating faux parchment and writing the Sh'ma in Hebrew just as a scribe would.

I can show my 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

I can 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.

Create your own Mad Libs about the aron, bimah and amud.

I can 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. 

I can 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?