Enduring Understandings:

You 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?

I can show proper use of the holiday symbols and ritual items

Now that you know what each symbol is and its Hebrew name, now we need to learn how to use them. Don't forget to make a blessing!

Learn how to blow שׁוֹפַר.

Learn how to shake לוּלָב וְאֶתְרוֹג.

Learn how to build a סֻכָּה.

Create a giant size version of one of the holiday symbols out of creative materials and write the big idea it presents inside the symbol.

I can draw connections between the holiday narrative/big ideas and the ritual practices of the holiday

You know the story behind the יָמִים נוֹרָאִים and you know the rituals that we do on these days. Now it's time to make some connections.

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I can connect the holiday narrative with the season/timing of the holiday

In the spring, when פֶּסַח falls we celebrate new beginnings. We ask for the blessing of rain to water our crops so that new fruits and vegetables can grow. We ask for this in the spring but we won't know if our prayers are answered until the fall when we go out and pick the fruit and collect the vegetables. The יָמִים נוֹרָאִים are a sign that God does answer our prayers. 

So now, why do you think רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, יוֹם כִּפּוּר and סֻכּוֹת are celebrated in the fall? What in the stories of these holidays connects with this time of year? What prayers are we hoping will be answered on these days?

Create a diorama for the Yamim Noraim using natural materials that celebrate its season.

I can use appropriate holiday vocabulary in proper context and show my understanding of their meanings

You've learned a whole bunch of Hebrew words for these holidays. You know the names of the holidays in Hebrew, the names of the symbols and the holiday greetings. When you speak about this holiday with your family and friends, can you use all of these Hebrew words? Here are some of the Hebrew words you know related to the יָמִים נוֹרָאִים:

Holiday Names

יָמִים נוֹרָאִים - High Holy Days
רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה - Rosh Hashanah
יוֹם תְּרוּעָה - Yom T'ruah
יוֹם כִּפּוּר - Yom Kippur

סֻכּוֹת - Sukkot

Holiday Greetings

חַג שָׂמֵחַ - Happy Holidays
שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה - A Good and Sweet New Year

גְּמָר טוֹב - May it be a good end of the year

צוֹם קַל - Have an easy fast

גְּמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה - May you be sealed for goodness
מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה...חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן - Happy times for festivals

Holiday Symbols

שׁוֹפַר - Shofar
קִיטְל - Kitel
רִמוֹן - Pomegranate
תְּשׁוּבָה - Repentance
תַּפּוּחִים וּדְבַשׁ - Apples and Honey
לוּלָב וְאֶתְרוֹג - Lulav and Etrog
סֻכָּה - Sukkah
תּוֹרָה - Torah

Create a video showing how the Yamim Noraim are celebrated using the Hebrew vocabulary words above.

I can read the b’rachot associated with the holiday symbols and ritual items along with selected t'fillot and can show my understanding of the keywords of those b'rachot and t'fillot

You already know how to say or sing lots of blessings and prayers for the יָמִים נוֹרָאִים. Now it's time to look at them more closely and put your Hebrew reading skills to work. It's tempting to just say the blessings and prayers by heart but challenge yourself to really try and read them. In fact, see if you can read them forwards and backwards!

Read this t'fillah for רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה:

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


Read these blessings on סֻכּוֹת

For sitting in the סֻכָּה:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוׂתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לִישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה:

For shaking the לוּלָב וְאֶתְרוֹג:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוׂתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת לוּלָב:

When you are sitting in the סֻכָּה or shaking לוּלָב וְאֶתְרוֹג for the first time each year:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶּה:

When you can read all of the words of the b'rachot (blessings) take our Build-a-Blessing challenge. 

Create a poster for one of the b'rachot including the full Hebrew and highlighting the key words.

I can categorize holiday rituals as mitzvah or minhag

Since you already know what a מִצְוָה and a מִנְהָג are, now we can think about some of the holiday rituals and decide if they are a מִצְוָה or a מִנְהָג. Here's a hint for deciding what's a מִצְוָה: Most mitzvot have a blessing that includes the words, "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ", which means, "You make us holy through your commandments and command us to..."






I can draw conclusions about the values associated with each holiday based on the holiday story and ritual practices

Think about the holiday story and rituals that you've learned about. What values do they teach us? For example: Maybe reflecting on the choices we made over the past year teaches us about having courage. What conclusions can you draw about the values that might be associated with each holiday based on the story and rituals?

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© 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