© 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 identify the Torah as one of three parts of the Tanakh and can identify when in the Jewish calendar we read selections from each part

Tanakh Tree of Life.png

I can identify the name of my bar/bat mitzvah parsha, the name of the book it comes from and the meaning of my parsha's name

You already know that there are 54 פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת in the תּוֹרָה and that they are organized into five books. Now that you know when you're בַּר/בַּת מִצְוָה is let's figure out what the name of your פָּרָשָׁה is, what book it comes from and what it means. Follow these steps:

  1. Click here to visit www.hebcal.com

  2. Put in your בַּר/בַּת מִצְוָה date under the heading "Convert from Gregorian to Hebrew date" and click the "Convert to Hebrew" button

  3. When you do that, at the top of the page you'll see the English and Hebrew dates of your בַּר/בַּת מִצְוָה and the name of the פָּרָשָׁה in blue right underneath that.

  4. Click on the name of your פָּרָשָׁה. This will take you to a page all about your parsha, where it's found in the תּוֹרָה and what selections are read. There are also commentaries and more on this page.

  5. Click on the Book, chapter and verse next to the words "Torah Portion:" at the top of the page. This will take you to your פָּרָשָׁה. 

  6. Look at the Hebrew and see if you can find the name of your פָּרָשָׁה in the text. Highlight that word and a dictionary will pop up and you can see what the name of your פָּרָשָׁה means!

I can distinguish between parshat hashavua and haftarah, indicating from where in the Tanakh each comes from

Remember the three parts of the תנך (Bible) that we learned about from the tree above? Take a look back at the tree and see if you can figure out the difference between a פָּרָשָׁה and a הַפְטָרָה. What book does your הַפְטָרָה come from? Click here and scroll through the calendar to your בַּר/בַּת מִצְוָה date and פָּרָשָׁה. Click on your פָּרָשָׁה and you'll be able to see your הַפְטָרָה. 

Create a poster for your bar/bat mitzvah indicating the parsha and haftarah and where each come from

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I can have an aliyah by reciting the appropriate b'rachot and following appropriate "stage direction"

Having an עֲלִיָּה is a really big deal. When you have an עֲלִיָּה, you are participating in the reading of the תּוֹרָה, the most holy and precious object Jews have. Use the video and text below to master how to have an עֲלִיָּה.

Before the תּוֹרָה reading you sing:

בָּרְכוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה הַמְברָךְ:

Everyone responds with:

בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה הַמְברָךְ לְעולָם וָעֶד:

You continue with:

בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה הַמְברָךְ לְעולָם וָעֶד:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים. וְנָתַן לָנוּ אֶת תּורָתו. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה, נותֵן הַתּורָה:

After the תּוֹרָה reading you sing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָנוּ תּורַת אֱמֶת וְחַיֵּי עולָם נָטַע בְּתוכֵנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה, נותֵן הַתּורָה:

Create a video teaching others how to have an aliyah.

I can analyze and interpret a text using appropriate commentaries with guidance

The most important part of Torah study is asking questions. And the best kinds of questions are "why" and "how" questions. Why did God say that? Why did Moses do this? How was Miriam feeling about this? When you learn about a story from the Torah, make sure to ask lots of questions!