The fourth grade had amazing conversations today about the name we use to talk about God, leadership characteristics, and defining the term prophet. We discussed how understanding and identifying what we think God is is so hard and that fact is reflected in the name of God. The Hebrew yud yud could be pronounced like yaayaa - like a breath. We don't read it that way, instead we say adonai because we don't know how God's name is pronounced. Any name we have for God is just a special sound. The sound of Yud yud or yud hey vavhey can both be symbolically understood as a precious breath, the act of breathing being the basic action of living which God created.
Last week and this week, the students identified who they thought were leaders - parents and siblings received votes! Since the presidential elections had not yet happened last week, I thought it important to think of what we would want in a leader. We did not specifically talk about presidents or the candidates. We then compared a leader to an idol and a hero. This week, we continued by considering what a prophet was. The students read the story of Joshua who took over leadership of the Children of Israel as we left the desert and left Moses. Joshua's first action was to investigate the city of Jericho and then Joshua has a conversation with God about how to take over Jericho to remove the evil there. The students learned that the number 7 was important as it reflects the days of creation. The Children of Israel marched around the walls increasing the number of times to 7 times which caused the walls to crumble. Comparing the science of sound waves caused by stamping and blowing horns to God's guidelines, showed the connection between science and nature and God's actions.
We also worked on the prayer Shema and Vahavta. The Vahavta being the only place where we are told to feel something - told to love God. We talked about what that could mean since you can't force a feeling.
In Hebrew, the students are now working in small groups with five different teachers to give the students the best opportunity to grow in their reading ability.
Have a wonderful week.
Mr and Mrs. Y and Katy.