This past Sunday, we continued to learn about Rosh Ha'Shana - the Jewish New Year. On Sunday evening, at sundown, we will welcome in the year 5780, and celebrate Rosh HaShana for two days. Unlike the Gregorian New Year, on the Jewish New Year, we focus on how we can become better people in the year to come. One RH custom that can help us think about improving ourselves is called Tashlich, which involves throwing crumbs into a moving body of water; the crumbs represent our sins from the past year. Ask your child if s/he remembers who eats those crumbs/sins! Our class project was a "Tashlich fish." On the back of the Tashlich cutout, each student wrote something they hope to do better in the coming year, or they wrote the word sorry - either way, the student thought about an interaction with another person that they can improve upon in 5780 - e.g., .being more considerate to a sibling, helping parents, etc. Whatever is written is between your child and Hashem (God - I figure most Americans know the word Allah, so I am hoping to teach American Jews that we use the word Hashem to refer to God). We talked about how it's not easy to improve behavior, especially in the moment. But maybe one way to remind ourselves of our "Tashlich wish" is to look at our "Tashlich fish." You might also ask your child if s/he remembers why pomegranates are eaten on RH ... hint: something to do with so many seeds...
Wishing you and your family a Shana Tova u'Metuka - a Happy and Sweet New Year,
This week we started to learn about Rosh Hashanah. Your child brought home a packet about Rosh Hashanah; please read this packet with your son/daughter, or at least the pages about TASHLICH and TESHUVA. Please have your child bring the packet to class on Sunday as we will be using it in class. You and your family are welcome to color any of the pages in the packet - most, if not all, of the pages have pictures for coloring. This coming Sunday we will learn more about Tashlich, and if my Cricut machine works, our activity will have to do with Tashlich.
Welcome to the first week of SSJS! After spending some time getting to know each other, we took a look at the Hebrew calendar. Each student has an English (Gregorian) calendar with the Hebrew calendar dates, and other pertinent information, listed on the corresponding English date. We also read a story about a very stingy merchant who was taught a valuable lesson by King Solomon.
Beginning this coming Sunday, Sept. 15th, we will collect tzedakah every week. Any spare change, even a penny or two, is appreciated. I want the students to have the opportunity to fulfill this mitzvah - commandment - for themselves as often as possible. In Judaism, tzedakah is not a choice, as is philanthropy; rather, it is an obligation incumbent upon the Jewish people to help ensure TZEDEK - Justice. I.e., we cannot have a just society without helping each other. The concept is more akin to a tax than charity.
I look forward to spending Sunday mornings with your children as we learn about Jewish holidays, Jewish Torah history, and Jewish values. If you need to reach me at any point throughout the year, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 617-872-7048. If you know your child will be out on an upcoming Sunday, please do let me know so I can prepare the correct amount of materials.
Morah Vicky (ask your child if s/he remembers what Morah means :-)