Archive for the ‘Hebrew Litterature – Safrut’ Category


A Daddy update

18 November 2011

I haven’t updated in a while, so here we go. Updates for October 28th, November 4th, 11th and 18th (today). I am currently in the break between lessons, so I thought I’d utilize the opportunity.

In Parashat haShavua we have opened up the Torah scroll every week and read parts from it. I am relying partly on the teachings that are published on the Bible Society website, but also adding some of my own. So it’s been Noah, Lech Lecha, vaYira, and today we spoke of Chayey Sara.

In the Bible class I made a presentation of small symbolic pictures and a description of each book in the Bible. We’ve gone through the Torah, Prophets, Writings, and today we did the historic books of the NT (Matthew through Acts). Next week will be the last one, and we’ll go through the letters and Revelation. I write a short summary of each book, without writing the name of the book, and let prof read and match it to the correct book. Snoopy colors the small pictures, and Hugsy gets her own coloring pictures. We now have 4 different cut-and-glued Bible presentations on our wall, and there’s one more to come next week. Although for the letters I will probably generalize to make one picture per section. “Paul’s letters to congregations – Paul’s letters to people – Hebrews – General letters – Revelation”.

In the NT class we’ve kept talking about Yeshuas deeds and miracles. Silencing the storm and throwing out legion, Feeding 5,000 and walking on water, the rich man and the eye of the needle, Bartholomew, Sending out disciples to the towns, Peter’s confession of Yeshua as the Messiah, Let the Children come to me. And today, after the break, we will read about Zachary, the expulsion of the traders from the temple, and the death of Yochanan the baptist.

In Hebrew Litterature we’ve only had two lessons. One on October 28th, and we finally got back to the subject of friendship (which we dealt with before the holidays, but put aside in favor of holidays during the high season). Last week, however, on the 11th, it was the Friday closest to the memorial day of Yitshak Rabin, so I spent that lesson reading the stories in their book about Rabin, and teaching them about the background to the conflict in our area. We spoke about the murder, I told my personal story of where I was when I first heard about it, how horrible wrong it is to kill someone, but also explaining the background to it. That Rabin’s idea of a solution to the conflict was a dangerous failure.

In Social Sciences we’ve also only had two lessons (actually one, because the second one is today). We continue with talking about different professions, why people work, etc. We’ll keep going with that today.

In addition to the above, I’ve also expanded the morning prayer. We now start with the Shma, then Adon Olam, then we say the “hama’avir sheina mi’eynay”, and then the kaddish. After that we say Birkat haShanim. Today I added the Hebrew translation of “Amazing Grace”. I explained to the kids that even though the siddur has a lot of beautiful prayers, they are failing in that they are not focusing on the Messiah. The gospel has to be in the center of our life, so I wanted to add this song that emphasizes God’s amazing grace to us. I also told them a little about the background of the composition of the song.

In addition to this, I’ve also started to take the time whenever possible, when I see that there’s time over in the homeschooling schedule, and read through the book of Proverbs and the 1st letter of John with them, verse by verse. Only a few verses every week. This way they will get a deeper knowledge of what we find in the non-story parts of the Bible, and will be able to apply the Godly principles in it in their daily life.

Update: In Social Science, when talking about employment and work, we spoke of the hard work the first Zionist pioneers did 130 years ago, and watched this pioneeric work song by Hayim Nahman Bialik:



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.


Sukkot lessons etc – Daddy update

19 October 2011

On the 12th and 14th of October I had lessons with the kids. On the 12th it was the Sukkot lessons, and on the 14th, the first “regular” class since a long time.

In Sukkot class we spoke of the meaning of Sukkot, read Leviticus 23:40 and onwards, basically using the teachings here (but a more kiddie approach). We also watched this short movie.

In the NT class we learned the stories of the Beth Hesda pool, Yeshua’s entering to Jerusalem on the donkey, and about the Samaritan woman next to the well.

In Literature we read poems and songs about Sukkot, including Patish Masmer:


On the 14th we had a “regular class”. We finished “The big picture story Bible” and read the stories from right after the crucifiction until revelation. We also sang the song “BeReshit amar leShmot”, a song that goes through all the books o the Bible in Hebrew, including the New Testament (it’s part of the Messianic children’s DVD Giborey haEmunah)

In Literature we went through the stories of the holiday, a story of kids who didn’t have a yard and built their sukka on the roof instead, and the song Sukkatenu by Natan Alterman, (from 00:58 on this medley):

In the NT class we spoke of the 10 lepers, the born blind person and his parents (John 9), and the story of Lazarus.

In Social Science we started a new chapter that is about work and professions. This lessons was mostly about why people work.


Another Daddy update – holidays lessons

9 October 2011

Sep 30th was the first real “Holiday teaching day”. We did talk some about Rosh haShana at literature class already the week before, but this was the actual holiday teaching day (even if it turned out to be one day after the actual holiday). On a holiday teaching day we skip the Bible and the Social Science class, and instead we have only New Testament, Literature, and a holiday class where we talk about the holiday. The day therefore also either becomes shorter, or we have two classes about the holiday if needed.

On Sep 30th we were away, and I brought the material with me, but forgot the literature books. So there were only holiday teaching and New Testament. Luckily we had already covered most Rosh haShana stories last week.

I started with a general introduction of the holiday, and why we celebrate it, the symbols of the holiday, and we spoke of the story of Isaac and Abaraham at Moriah mountain and how it relates to Rosh haShana, and how it relates to Yeshua. I preached on this holiday two years ago in our congregation, so I did have some material to use (and at the end of the day, I took my oldest son on a more in-depht lesson and showed him the powerpoint presentation I made for the holiday.
(If you want to get deeper in the holiday, and it’s meaning, here’s a good article)

In the NT story, we talked about the calling of the disciples, the sermon on the mount, and the transfiguration.

Yesterday, on the eve of Yom Kippur, we started the day with talking about the holiday – the day of atonement. We read from Leviticus 16 on what the high priest would do on this day, and how it was all a picture of the Messiah, and tied that to Leviticus 17:11. We talked about the book of life, and also how we still need to ask for forgiveness for our sins – but the blood of the lamb has already been poured, we do not need any sacrifices. We talked about the different laws of this day, how the prayers go in the synagogue and examined the differences between our faith and the religious Jews’ faith. We saw this excellent explanation of Yom Kippur.

And then we also saw Kol Nidre – the first prayer said at the evening service on Yom Kippur Eve:

(If you want to get deeper in the holiday, and it’s meaning, here’s a good article)

In the NT lesson we talked of three important stories that all related to the Salvation, and the forgiveness of sins: The calling of Matthew (Matt 9:9-13), the adulterous woman (John 8:1-11), and the story of Nicodemus (John 3:1-21).

At the end we had literature. Two stories about Rosh haShana from last week, and then a few stories about Yom Kippur. About how the word “I’m sorry” is hard to say, and about how a bad conscience can get a life of its own and torment you, until you overcome the feelings of shame, and truly apologize. We stressed that an apology – whether to man or to God – must be from the heart, and must include a sincere regret, and a wish not to redo the sin. In the end there was also a story about a nine-year old who wanted to fast like the adults, but wasn’t able to. The moral of the story is not to fast for the sake of sports. And kids should not fast before they’ve reached Bar Mitsva age.

That’s it for this time. Now we have two weeks where I’ll teach two lessons every week. One every holiday eve (Wednesdays – 12th and 19th), and Fridays as usual (14th and 21st). There’s still Sukkot and Simchat Torah coming up! Tishrei is such an amazing holiday-packed month! Luckily it only comes once a year…


Friday the 23rd of September 2011

24 September 2011

So, yesterday we had our 5th Friday-lesson since the start.

First lesson – Bible. Last time we left off with John the Baptist, so this lesson was focused on Yeshua’s ministry, which caused a slight overlap with the NT class. With the difference that now we went quickly through all of his ministry in one short lesson, and in the NT class it will take us a year. We read from Nicodemus till crucifixion.


Second lesson – Hebrew Literature. We’re taking a break from the stories about friendship to focus on the upcoming holidays now. Today’s focus was on Rosh haShana, the New Year, that is in another week. We spoke about the holiday in general, and read a short story. Then we sang two holiday songs:

The first one was “Matana leRosh haShana” (Gift for Rosh haShana) by Leah Naor:


The second one was “Chodesh Tishrei” (The Month of Tishrei) by Datia Ben-Dor that speaks of all four holidays we have this month (First verse from minute 4, and second verse from around 6 I think – it’s from the children’s program Parpar Nehcmad, from the 80s):


after that they both had questions and assignments relating to the holiday and the songs.


Third lesson was NT. We covered three stories – In Kana, turning water to wine (John 2), In the Nazareth synagogue where he was almost pushed over a cliff (Luke 4), and In the Kfar Nachum (Capernaum) synagogue where he threw out a demon, and later healed Peter’s Mother in law (Mark 1). I let them wash their hands in a bowl and then asked if they’d like to drink it – because that’s the kind of water Yeshua used. Then we spoke of how he can purify our hearts, just as he did with the water.


Fourth lesson was Social Science, where we finished the first chapter about identity in the social context of a school class. This time it was about how to make rules for the class – the context from the previous week was that kids who were left out would not feel left out if there are rules that establish that their birthdays are celebrated, if they’re hospitalized they get visits etc. Not very relevant to us, so we looked at the rules the class made in the book and decided which would work and not in a homeschool environment, and saw the differences.


We had some time over after that, so with the New Year coming up, we quickly also went through the Jewish months of the year. I drew them on the chart, we defined seasons and holidays, and sang the month-song by Naomi Shemer (here sung by Ofra Haza):


Today it’s Shabbat, and we’re home. I was Sabbath School teacher this morning in the congregation, first time since the new school year started, which means that it’s the first time my son (Prof) is in my Sabbath School class. Now it’s almost 17:00, and they are outside riding their bikes and playing with the neighbor’s kids.


Shabbat Shalom!


School so far (Fridays)

16 September 2011

We are now done with three weeks of school – but since we started on a Friday, and it’s Friday today, that means 4 Fridays so far. I’m still trying to get used to do this on the Fridays, get up in the morning as if I’m going to work and get the kids started. Also, I need to take an evening or two during the weekdays to prepare the lessons for the kids. I’m trying to get some sort of system worked out… so far I’ve been forced to stay up until 1 AM far too many Thursdays… but I’ll sort it out eventually. I hope.

In the Bible lessons, we’re using a Hebrew translation of “the Big Picture Story Bible” by David Helm:

I especially like this Bible because it goes quickly through the Bible to give a general view, and it focuses on seeing the promise of the Messiah in the Old Testament. It is very important for me to teach the kids the Bible in a way that makes them understand about how our faith in Yeshua is Jewish, and rooted in the Old Testament (because eventually society is going to try to convince them otherwise). Another few lessons and we’re done, and then we’ll focus on preparing a Bible wall chart, which will teach them more about the general structure of the Bible, and the different books.
Using some colorful maps and pictures, we’ve also learned the different empires, and the Bible characters related to each one: Assyria-Jona, Babylon-Daniel, Persia-Ester, Greece-Judah Maccabee, Rome-Yeshua.

In the Literature we’ve been reading poems and stories dealing with personal identity and friendship. Situations when kids play and leave another kid out, situations on how to make friends, kids who don’t get friends because they have too high expectations on the friendship, etc. Today was the last lesson on that subject, since we will turn to stories and poems relating to the holidays as soon as the holiday season starts. Then we’ll go back to the friendship theme – at the end of October.

In the NT lessons I’ve defined 54 separate stories of deeds or miracles relating to Yeshua’s ministry until the Last Supper, which means we go through 2 or 3 every lesson. Today we reached the baptism and the temptation in the desert. They often love this subject a lot, but that’s mostly because I set up small skits and plays for them with their stuffed animals. I take most of the scripts from

Finally, in Social Science we’ve soon finished chapter 1 out of 7 – in the class. We’ve discussed being different, what it would be like if everyone were the same, why it’s not nice to laugh at other kids because of their difference, children coming from other countries and the difficulties they face (I could share some of my own experiences there, coming to Israel at the age of 13). Today we sang the song of Uzi Chitman about being the shortest child in the class, and we also read about a boy with hearing impairment, and a girl in a wheelchair, and how they manage in school. Here is the song about the shortest child in the class:


Our first day of school

13 September 2011

August 26th 2011 is the day we started. Regular schools start on September 1st, but we decided to start a week earlier. We decided to put the first day on a Friday to give me (the Dad) a kick-start.

We started with the morning prayer we’ve done since on every Friday (see the page “what we teach – Dad on the side).

After that we had 4 lessons. Nowadays the first lesson on Fridays is the general Bible class. But on this first day I decided to skip that in order to have a “first day of school”-lesson.

First of all, we turned on the “Shalom kita alef” (Hello first grade) song. First day of first grade of school is a big deal, and in all schools the new first graders are celebrated – standing in the focus of attention of the whole school, balloons, songs, you name it.  So I put on the song, and danced around with Snoopy.

After the song and dance we went through some rules. No balagan during lessons. Listen to the teacher. Hand up if you want to say anything.

Then I told them of how the teaching of the Hebrew alphabet was once started by letting the kids lick honey off pictures of the letters, back in the days of the cheder, to make them get the feeling that learning to read is sweet.

We then went through the alphabets (Hebrew and Latin – in both Swedish and English version) using alphabet songs that they already know. As a light “first taste” for Snoopy (Prof can read Hebrew already).

And finally I also went through the different Friday subjects they will have with me every Friday and what we’ll do.

That was the first lesson. The rest of the day we had another 3 lessons – the first lesson of each one of the subject. In Hebrew Literature we went through songs about the first day, and about personal identity. We sang the song “haYeled haZe Hu Ani” (That Child Is Me):

In NT class we spoke of John 1 – and Yeshua’s identity as the Word, the Metatron, the mediator, and the 2nd person of the divine trinity, as foretold and developed by wise rabbis hundreds of years before Yeshua came. We also told the story of Zacharia in the temple.

In Social Science we read a story about a girl who came back to school with glasses and was worried about how the other kids would react. We spoke about being different, about how we are, our identities, wrote a small “ID card” for each child, and sang the song “Ani tamid nishar ani” – “I am always Me!”