News for Sunday April 22
Our studies today centered on two areas, (1) a further analysis of two prophets, Jonah and David, and (2) looking at the Torah and haftarah sections for the holiday of Shavuot that occurs 7 weeks after Passover when the Jewish people were freed from Egypt.
The students chose the prophets’ stories they wished to review today. With Jonah and the whale, the students learned about taking responsibility for one’s actions and what is required to change from doing wrong. They learned that apologies are not enough if a person does not look at the wrongdoing, acknowledge what he/she did, try to fix or makeup for any harm done by the wrongdoing, and then work to never repeat the wrongdoing. The students also learned that standing up against people who do wrong is not easy but that perhaps people can be like Jonah learned to be, that is, to be courageous and trust that people can change for the good.
In reading about David and Goliath, the students again saw that strength does not just mean ‘big’ physically, but instead strength of character, thought, and conviction can be stronger than big muscles!
After studying the prophets, the students learned that on Shavuot, which is in May this year after school has ended, the custom is to read from the Torah about all of the holiday requirements to learn the laws that tell us what to do. AND we are required to read the haftarah scroll of Ruth about a non-Jewish woman who takes on the religion of her mother-in-law Naomi to support Naomi and cherish her when Naomi’s son, Ruth’s husband, dies. It is a story of caring and love and from it the students learned that Judaism requires laws with caring and caring with laws. Both mitzvah as law and a mitzvah as a good deed are necessary for Jewish community life.
It was another stellar day for our class. It is amazing what we have learned together this year. I can’t believe we only have two more classes.
Have a great week.