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A Daddy update for Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet

25 October 2011

Last week we again had two lessons. One for the holiday eve of Shmini Atseret, or Simchat Torah, on the 19th, and then on the Friday, the 21st.

On Simchat Torah we again had only one lesson about the holiday, one lesson of New Testament, and another of literature. For the holiday lesson I put on my Talith and showed them our Torah scroll (it’s a printed paper-torah scroll, not a real handwritten Torah scroll on animal skin that they use in the synagogues, those are way too expensive for us). I got their help to roll it back to the beginning, to show that this is the day we start reading from the beginning. We spoke about the holiday, and then I put up this sketch for them.

Since this day also is Hoshana Raba, the last day of Sukkot, it is also the day of Simchat Beit haShoava, when they used to have a water ceremony in the temple. So in the New Testament lesson we started with how Yeshua stood up in the temple in the middle of the Simchat Beit haShoava on the “last great day of the feast” in John 7, and said that “I am the water of life”. After that we read the story of the man who came to Yeshua through the roof (we acted it out with a sheet, and Hugsy got to be the one in the sheet), and lastly we spoke of how Yeshua’s disciples picked straws in the field, and it was seen as a sin by the pharisees, and Yeshua answers them by mentioning the bread in the tabernacle. I used this to tell them about how the Jewish interpretation of the Torah had evolved into the 39 “avot hamelacha”, and why the prohibition of picking straws was linked to the bread in the tabernacle (and that’s why Yeshua mentioned it), and that that is also the reason we tell them not to climb trees on Shabbat when they are around their Jewish religious friends (since climbing trees can make leaves fall off, it falls under the same category)

In literature we saw pictures about the holiday, read about what the Bible says about the holiday, and sang the songs:

 

On the Friday after that, it was the Shabbat of the first Torah-reading in the synagogues, Beresheet. From this Friday and onwards we will have a lesson on this weeks parasha. So we read parts of the parasha, which they knew well from the Torah classes with their Mom. We spoke of the falling in sin, the promise of the Messiah, and how human kind got more and more corrupted to the point of Noah which will come next week.We read in the Haftara (prophet reading) of Isaiah 53 and noted specifically that God has no beginning and no end. We also read, connected to the creation, from Psalm 139 and Rev 21:1-5, 22:1-5.

In the Bible class we looked on the Bible from a very general point of view this time, as we just finished the “Big Picture Story Bible” last week. We went through the parts (Torah-Prophets-Writings-New Testament) one by one. To my help I created an excel file where I made one cell for each book and colored them in different colors (an idea I got from a book in English, but I couldn’t use that since Christians still insist on putting the Old Testament books in the Septuagint order).  We also sang the song we learned last week, pointing to the books in the file. Last bu not least, we took a general look at the time of the bible through the amazing interactive timeline they have at the mikra-gesher website.

In the NT lesson we spoke of the “Talitha Koumi”-story, the resurrection of the widow’s son, and the servant of the Roman officer.

Finally, we also had some Moledet – social science. This time it was about different professions, what kind of professions there are, what they do, etc. They got to think of professions they like and like to write about, and thought of the different things there are.

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