It is hard to believe that our fourth grade year is almost over. Your students have been amazing learners. It is a group that is clearly excited about Jewish history, the Torah, and what roles Judaism can play in their lives.
I haven't given you a summary of our classes lately so here is what we have been doing.
In the three weeks leading up to and including the model seder, we studied the story of Passover, the customs, and the Haggadah. We focused on practicing some of the major prayers, some fun songs, and ways to make the seder interesting for children. We also focused on why the number 4 is so important, the 4 cups of wine, 4 questions, and 4 sons. The students learned that G-d had spoken using four different phrases explaining that the Israelites would be free. In thinking about the 4 sons or 4 children, we studied various artist renditions of the four sons to find meaning. The students discovered that perhaps the four sons are really four types of actions that each of us takes at different times or that no matter who you are or how you ask, asking is important and you are always included as all four types of sons were included in the seder.
The students also studied about the symbolism that can be found throughout the Haggadah and that almost every sentence can be examined to have meaning beyond the literal words. When we are given the list of the order, we can think - if we are free now - why such a lengthy order with so many requirements - what does that tell you about slavery or freedom? Why two times do we wash our hands but only say a prayer the second time?
Since the seder, we have been and will continue to work on putting the prophets and other occurrences in time perspective so that the students have a better sense of our history. We will also conclude with some stories about Eliyahu, the prophet for whom we have a cup at the seder.
It has been a pleasure working with your children.
Mr. and Mrs. Y