Fourth Grade News December 3
Our class took an in depth look at history today. We examined the beginnings of the biblical timeline:
God creating the world
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
Noah and the Ark
Abraham and Sarah and their son Jacob
Abraham and Hagar and their son Ishmael
Sarah requesting that Hagar and Ishmael go and Abraham complying
God promising Hagar that Ishmael would be a great nation like God would make of Jacob
The students discovered that about 3000 years after Adam and Eve, Jesus was born and died Jewish. After his death, his followers created Christianity from Jesus’s words. About 600 years after Jesus, Muhammad created Islam. Our calendar year 2017 is from the year that it was thought that Jesus was born.
Followers of both Jesus and Mohammed consider each man a prophet. The Jewish belief is to consider Abraham as a prophet and others but not Jesus or Muhammed. All three religions have one God but address God with different names. In the Torah, God is referenced as Adonai, Hashem, Elohim and yud hey vav hey - a word that we do not know how to pronounce. In English, Jews also use the word God. Christians refer to the same God as the Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. The God of Islam is also one God that is called Allah. All of the three are different ways to describe the one God who created the world. All three religions follow the some of the Torah stories including that God created the world and that Abraham had the two sons. Christianity includes the Torah and adds a new compilation of information written by his Disciples. The new information is collected in the New Testament which modifies some of the information in the Torah. Jewish faith does not believe that the Torah has the addition and modifications contained in the New Testament. The Koran or Qur'an is also based on many of the stories found in the Torah. Some of the stories and language is reinterpreted or deleted in the Koran.
From all of this learning, the students realized the connection and shared initial beginnings of the three religions. They also became aware of why the Jewish calendar is currently in the year 5778 but the Gregorian or secular calendar is in the year 2017.
Finally, we also considered some of the lessons from the stories in the Torah. For example, that from Adam and Eve, we can learn to take responsibility for our actions. From Cain and Abel and Ishmael and Isaac, we learn that treating siblings with favoritism or lack of caring or lack of empathy has enormous negative consequences. From the way Abraham treated Ishmael and Isaac a rift was created between them that has resulted in the two religious faiths of Islam and Judaism and the schism between them.
In prayer time, we sang and studied Henei ma tov which speaks to the greatness of community, of brothers getting along. We used that song to lead to our learning about the history of the three religions.
In Hebrew, those studying with me, worked on reading and on some Hebrew language that occurred in our reading - words for what, who, fish, water, under, in, table, chair, hand, nose, head, book, paper, and pen.
Finally, just a reminder that it would be terrific for as many of the fourth graders as can, make a creative Hannukiah ( a 9 candle menorah for Chanukah). The students can work independently or together with someone in the school, a friend or a sibling. The creations will be on display on Dec 17 in the cafeteria with all receiving a prize for their efforts. There is also a talent show on the 17th, and again, we would like to invite as many as can, to participate in the show.
Just a fabulous class!!!