Hello Parents! It was great to see so many of the kids again today! In today's class, we covered some of the major events and ideas in three more "parshiot" (portions) of the Torah in Exodus. In this discussion, we talked about several important themes, including the challenge of leaving slavery in Egypt into freedom for the Children of Israel. As commentators - and our students! - pointed out, with freedom we weren't always told what to do. So we explored how important it was to develop laws and ways of being together in peace. We also talked about Nachshon (from Midrash), whose willingness to walk into the Sea is said to be the moment when the waters parted so that all of the people could move forward, out of Egypt. As the students pointed out, Nachshon wasn't only brave and showing trust, he also was caring and was a leader, as his action allowed all of the people to go forward. After the introduction, the students broke up into groups and each group worked on an event in these portions, prompted by a quote from the Torah and our discussion: Nachshon's action (a skit with costumes and sets); Miriam's dance and music after we got through the parted waters and escaped into freedom (written song and dance); the Ten Commandments we then received at Mt. Sinai (a writetn and performed rap song); and the specific injunction (in Mishpatim, with many laws) about not oppressing the stranger, because we were once strangers in Egypt (a poster). I took pictures and videos of the two songs/dances, poster and skit the groups created and hope I can find a way to share them with you! Finally, we ended our morning with a walk through the hallway to the cafeteria - kind of like leaving Egypt quickly! - where we made some "manna" snacks (manna was the food Gd gave the Jewish people in the desert to eat).
I told the students that a Midrash says that manna did not taste the same to everyone. You might discuss at home: what would that mean, why might the rabbis talk about this idea that the manna needed for survival might taste different to people of different ages or different in other ways?
I look forward to seeing the kids again next week! Shirah H.