Friday, December 18, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Flute in the church, and carols by two violinists and a piano in the hall where the other stations were. Lovely music. There were stations for woodwork, making decorations, needlework, making chocolate, paper stars, oranges and cloves and golden walnuts, and present wrapping.
It has been quiet on this blog since the Sunday school have been preparing for pageant so I have not done any lessons for a few weeks.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
One thought on curriculum is to do a series of portraits of Jesus.
I scratched a few thoughts about overall themes during the sermon today. We have already approached the role of Prophet. I wonder if this spokesperson and mediation role could find expression in a study of the presence of the High Priest on our behalf at the Mercy Seat. This is a full subject for exploration and would encompass the ancient sacrifices and the self-giving of Jesus. - Portrait 1: Prophet-Priest
A primary role of the prophet is as servant. Christ as servant to the circumcision and Jesus as embodying the suffering servant. Servant is used as an early title in Acts. Mark, Acts, and Isaiah would provide study here. Portrait 2: Servant
The Lamb and the Bridegroom. The book of Revelation provides a third portrait. The Shepherd King, son of David a fourth. His humanity is perhaps foremost in the role of son of Abraham. This humanity includes walking by faith (Habakkuk) and the temptation and will focus on how Jesus used the Scripture. Portrait 5: the human Jesus. This can include the origin and use of the phrase son of man.
A sixth portrait could encompass the aspects of Judge and Redeemer, the teacher and preacher. Again in the role of prophet, the one who rebukes and builds up. Temple Builder? - the role of the Spirit - Is the Lord, the Spirit open to a portrait - perhaps a theological one?
And seventh - the Son of God. Such a portrait would likely take much of its focus from John's Gospel, summed up in the word made flesh and the seven I am statements. This too should not focus exclusively on the NT but also include the Hebraic roots of the imagery and the anointing of the Law, the Prophets and the Writings for our learning as well as all who have loved these words both in old times and now.
Each portrait merges into the other - a study in itself.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
One of the younger students sang the shema for all of us as a solo this morning. (no prompts needed) Quite moving.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
In the lesson proper, after our 5 minutes of Hebrew, I was much more interactive than usual, but I had several older children there and they were happy to search out the question 'what is a prophet'. We went round the class getting various answers like - 'a good person', 'I don't know'. Even the young Korean who could not speak a word of English 6 months ago said clearly 'I don't know'. This is a very good place to start. I am not sure what order we did the following things in, but I had the attention of all some of the time and of most except the youngest most of the time.
We defined prophet as a servant and read some of Deuteronomy 34 and the beginning of Isaiah 42.
Then we read 1 Samuel 3 depicting in full Samuel's service, and the call of Hashem to him. (I read this as a story with appropriate low key dramatic voice - all ears were present to the story.) We related Samuel's name to the Shema as one who hears. So we had from Moses and Samuel two indications that a prophet is a servant and one who hears the voice of the Lord. Then I called for three volunteers - one to play God, one to be the prophet, and one to represent the people. I chose the older students and though I did not chose one rambunctious youngster, he participated in quite an unusual way. Here is the dialogue.
In each case I prompted the actor since they did not know their part (and neither did I till we started). I had been wondering whether to use props but I think the action is a far better teacher.
Teacher: Prophet - face God; God - say something
Teacher: God say hello to the prophet
Teacher: Prophet - turn and face the people and tell them God's word to you
Prophet: God says hello
Teacher: suppose the people have done something bad
People: no comment
Prophet turns to God
God: tell the people to stop
(They caught on quickly)
Rambunctious voice - tell God to say kill the people
Teacher: OK - God, tell the prophet you are going to destroy the people
God: I am going to destroy this people
Prophet: about to turn
Teacher: no, prophet - don't tell the people, remind God of his promises and his reputation - What would the Egyptians say? Talk back to God, and by doing so suggest that God can't do this.
We stopped here - but recognized how many sides there are to communication and how the prophet also has the role of intercession for the people. This talking back to God is of course not making God's mind up for him but the pattern is clearly seen with both Abraham and Moses, as I am sure all who are reading this will be aware.
So we summarized the roles of a prophet and I mentioned Ezekiel's problem (Ezekiel 3:26) of his tongue stuck to his palate so he is unable to warn a rebellious people but we did not have time to explore this in detail.
We looked at some other one word roles of the prophet: I had several Bibles open and two of the students had brought their own, so we read some of the prepared verses and I noted briefly the role of the prophet in each whether rebuke (Nathan), sarcasm (Micaiah), hope (Isaiah), and so on. I also pointed out the books of the prophets and pulled Obadiah from the shelf to read the first verse of his call - so with the eyes and ears of Isaiah 35:5 still in our heads, we read that visions are also part of the prophet's receiving apparatus. I handed out to each of the older students a page (here) with several verses which I hope they will be able to look up on their own. (I have not assumed this sort of 'homework' in the classes before, but some of them are definitely old enough to read on their own or with parental help.)
Then I asked a student to read Ezekiel 3:1 and I opened the tin of edible scroll pastries that I had made last night. They didn't eat too many each but there were none left after - the parish ate the rest at our light lunch. The instruction on the tin was in Hebrew אכול את־המגלה (ekol et-hamegillah). It will be useful when we come to look at the five scrolls. They will remember the word for scroll and we will use it as a lesson in Hebrew plural formation.
Finally we turned to Hebrews 1:1 (I did not read it in Greek - it is too early for that move but the pieces are all in place) and we thought for a moment on Jesus as our prophet - with whom we can speak and who intercedes for us.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I expect to approach the prophet as mediator, go-between for God and his people. Then each of the prophetic calls and chosen verses will reveal something of how God approached his people. I think also I will start with Samuel and Jeremiah both of whom are 'lads' - likely not older than my students. Then we will see how each prophet's call and perhaps selected verses tell us something about what a prophet is. I am not sure how long this will take - likely I have more material than I should have. I think I will make some rolled pastry that the children can eat in imitation of Ezekiel (but I will not make Ezekiel bread). My sweet will not be bitter in the stomach.
I got me flowers to strew thy way; I got me boughs off many a tree: But thou wast up by break of day, And brought'st thy sweets along with thee.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I had prepared 5 of the letter blocks with the word Elohim, אלהים for God which produces ha'eyalim האילים by simply moving one letter (and adding a yod!) - but with or without the Yod there is a 'sounds like' relationship. In the Song, God finds a way in (three times) even when not mentioned. (If I prepare letter blocks again, I hope it can be with mirrors and glass so that the chosen letter appears on all sides to avoid people reading random numbers, letters and signs!)
The entire world is unworthy of the day that the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all of Scripture is holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies. (M. Yad 3:5)
The book of the Song is in the middle of the Bible as shown in the picture. (For earlier posts of mine on the Song, begin here. For the first lessons with the blocks, see here and here)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
There are two pdf's. NT and TNK They fit exactly on 3 x 5 inch plywood blocks - print without scaling on 8.5 x 11 paper. (The plywood edges sort of look like pages). One requires the following sizes.
|BOOK ||TESTAMENT ||SIZE|
|14 ||n ||1||.25"|
|5 ||n ||2||.375"|
|6 ||n ||3||.5"|
|2 ||n ||4||.675"|
|10 ||o ||1||.25"|
|6 ||o ||2||.375"|
|5 ||o ||3||.5"|
|6 ||o ||4||.675"|
|7 ||o ||5||.75"|
|1 ||o ||6||.875"||(use glue)|
The book labels themselves are in Hebrew and Greek. The labels are meant to be put on as for left to right reading (sorry). They are intended for Hebrew to English and Greek to English exercises as well as for piling on top of each other and learning to count and learning what the books of the Bible are (without too much parochial reductionism).
It is possible to print them out on white paper that will take glue or on a mac-tac type of paper, then cut the images out and paste them onto the wood blocks (you'll have to make those). You can cut the Hebrew labels in two (or 3) and bind them right to left. You'll get the idea. (But if you are interested, get in touch with me. I found a few errors and difficulties as I actually did the matching so I am not sure if my sizes are quite right, and I have added a few puzzles to the labels since printing to PDF which has its own idiosyncrasies with large paper sizes.) You could also print them on cardboard stock and fold them to shape - but they won't be as resilient as wood.
Oh - I did do a short lesson last week - just a few minutes on counting again and we sang the shema - I will repeat this till they really know it. There are some fine musicians there.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
As usual when looking at my illustration of 'One', all heads gathered close so I had to ask for my space back to spread out the map of Genesis 1. It was 4 feet by 2 feet. The colors are many and I think they recognized some of the patterns in the refrains on the page, but I did not read anything in sequence.
There was no one there who remembered the first lesson from Spring 2008 so I repeated it quickly. Then I pointed out the uses of and God said - I found only 9 but I was sure there were 10. The computer counts 10 so there must be 10. Where is the tenth? (One of them is in verse 28 and the computer is counting only the word 'and he said'.) We read together the refrains and counted thus up to 7. I think we will have a lesson on every number, so all this was by way of introduction.
Have you noticed this?
ויאמר אלהים נעשה אדם בצלמנו כדמותנו
And God said - let us make a human in our image after our likeness
וירדו בדגת הים ובעוף השמים
to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of heaven etc
ויברא אלהים את־האדם בצלמו
So God created the human in his image
בצלם אלהים ברא אתו
In the image of God he created it
זכר ונקבה ברא אתם
male and female he created them
God says - let's make the human in our image according to our likeness
But then God creates the human in his image
What's missing? In a poem where repetition is a pattern closely followed, this 'after our likeness' is not repeated.
Likeness without image is used in Genesis 5 - How are we to understand the missing words? The use of likeness with respect to the human is not taken up again till the visions of Ezekiel.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
תורה ספר אֶחָד
בראשית ברא אלהים
את השמים ואת הארץ
And it will have a colorful spine as noted in the prior post.
I have a 2 ft by 4 ft blowup of this diagram - I wonder what I will do with it or how much I will read for sound. I am not into reductionism when teaching. Slow and steady in a rich environment - that's how to grow.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The topic of the books of the Bible is a very complex one. (See for example the link at the left) North American Protestants are not much aware of the issues:
- that there are several versions of the canon;
- that the word "scriptures' as used in the New Testament did not mean necessarily the 'Old Testament' in the order we have it today, and certainly did not include the New Testament;
- that the Hebrew Scriptures are in a different order from the Old Testament as used in the churches today.
Imagine these attached to a set of blocks and on a shelf - looking like a shelf full of books. (Note how the books would be organized right to left.)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I have printed the book in 3 parts since the pdf's were getting big. Note that it is designed to be printed in duplex open at the left (or right) and collated and stapled on the right to read from right to left as all Hebrew books are read.
Pages 1-12 (for a printer - actually these are pages 13-24) are here
Pages 13-25 (for a printer - actually these are pages 1-12 and the title page and its back) are here
Page 26 which could go as back to page 25 contains the 34 exercises here.
How many can you do? (There are 4 songs to sing - the music for the alef-bet song is an experiment in printing right to left.)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
And I assigned homework for the summer. A kind of find Waldo exercise - see this diagram. For each letter in red on the second page, find it in the corresponding paragraph. For some of the children this will be more difficult than for others. I had a mistake in the diagram which I only discovered after printing it. So I left it there for the eldest to find. I don't know how it happened - somehow I had copied storm wind סער from Psalm 107:25 instead of sustain סעד Psalm 119:117. In the diagram I have replaced the Samech word with Support סמך as considered here. Perhaps I had two examples and kept differing pieces of them. It looks though as if I had traded a resh for a dalet - easy to do when reading or when writing but hardly when using copy and paste on a computer.
If we have a class during the summer, I will explore these shapes - maybe.
Have a fun summer - all.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I wasn't sure how much time I had - and I could have gone further. But it was good to complete the sentence in English also...
After a year, I feel the need to emphasize the aural more - more talking - more singing - more communicative behaviour in the ancient tongue. I think I will try and link in further to the Cohelet project on this subject. (A very clever name - sounds like Qohelet the preacher = our Ecclesiastes!)
Monday, May 25, 2009
After 3 or 4 times through, some were singing clearly and everyone was trying. Must repeat the songs and let the letters fall out from them. No Sunday School next week - high mass for Pentecost and a special Palestrina choral feature with several visiting singers.
After a year, I must think how to continue the teaching process. Blocks and singing and lessons with action seem to be the best for retention for children and adults alike. But this much is true - five minutes a week makes a difference.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
There are so many possible lessons in today's words that I noted as I prepared for this part of the class, on its own, about the presentation of 'ancient time' and 'today' to those of us with only a few years of memory.
Then I also covered the upper room and the institution of the Eucharist - It was of necessity brief - but again time, memory, and presence are in the story.
Honey cake for the feast. Jewish New Year and Anointed Time all in one. Delight yourselves in fatness (Isaiah 55:2).
After Job or even in tandem, I think Isaiah 40-66 a good next project.
The 35 minute lesson was successful. The door keeper and I acted out the reading. She handed me the 'scroll' to read, I read the frame in English and the Isaiah portion in Hebrew, showing them a scroll in English and Hebrew, then I handed the scroll back to her and sat down. In contrast to other godly play lessons where eye contact is not the norm, this one with its lesson - all eyes were upon him - required action and eye contact. A student had helped me prepare by finding the Spirit רוח (ruach) and 'on me' עלי (alai) with the blocks. The whole class 'learned' these two words.
We made a time line to illustrate the 'length' of 2000 years. We started with a question to the young Korean - how old are you - and he held up his five digits with open palm. So we marked on the time line our points, the dates of the events of the gospel and the time of Isaiah, 600 to 800 years prior to them.
For such a long lesson everyone was quiet. It is a good lead in to Pentecost.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Here is the Hebrew text in an image (till I find out why Mac's don't display some Hebrew right!)
Read it with me (cover the following if you don't need it):
ruach Adonai יהוה alai
ya`an mashach יהוה iti
shelachani lachvosh lenishberei-lev
liqro lishvuyim dror
liqro shenat-ratson la יהוה
vyom neqam le'elohenu
because יהוה has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor
He has sent me to bind up
to proclaim to captives liberty
and to those who are bound, emancipation
to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה
the day of vengeance of our God
to comfort all those who mourn
Spiritus Domini super me,
eo quod unxerit Dominus me;
ad annuntiandum mansuetis misit me,
ut mederer contritis corde,
et prædicarem captivis indulgentiam,
et clausis apertionem;
ut prædicarem annum placabilem Domino,
et diem ultionis Deo nostro;
ut consolarer omnes lugentes,
The children don't do Latin yet - but soon :)
Where does Jesus stop in his reading?
Sunday, May 3, 2009
head - ראש
shoulder - כתף - shoulders כתפים
knee - ברך - knees ברכים
When you see knee, right away you know that it is the same word as bless. One kneels for a blessing - right?
extremity - toe or finger - אצבע - toes אצבעות
One nameless nine-year-old had offered foot instead of hand to the teacher as a greeting. So as distraction, I could appeal to the lesson that toe and finger are the same word in Hebrew.
eye - עין - so very like the English eye in pronunciation
ear - אזן - the hardest to open though it has no lid!
mouth - פה
nose - אף - as anger
When we had finished - all sang the song with me - and all did the movements. As the light is good and the Lord is good - so also the blessing to us in our limbs is good.
We have been going nearly a year - time to consider results...
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
and there was a man of great size
and the fingers of his hand and the toes of his foot were six and six
twenty and four in number
and even this one was born to the giant
(2 Samuel 21:20)
Strengthen drooping hands and tottering knees secure
then will be opened the eyes of the blind
and the ears of the deaf will be unblocked
note the assonance in the Hebrew
- so many to choose from, 78 uses in the psalms alone
my mouth will speak of wisdom and the musing of my heart of discernment (Psalm 49)
nose - and wrath (Psalm 115)
ears to them and they do not hear;
nose to them and they do not smell
Monday, April 20, 2009
So says יְהוָה of hosts saying: judge with a true judgment
and mercy and compassion do -
so it should be for anyone to any other who is near
and widow or orphan, stranger or the poor - do not oppress
and evil - anyone to any other who is near - do not imagine in your hearts
but they refused to pay attention
and gave a shoulder to stubbornness
and their ears they stopped from hearing
There are many sounds we have heard in other contexts in these verses alone.
Ideas from anyone else on suitable verses for teaching about how we use head and shoulders, knees and toes?
Note: this post altered to see if the Hebrew letters will work on Apple.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The world premiere of Head and Shoulders, the Bob version, was given today to 9 or 10 children. We sang it together first in English - so they know they knew the tune. Then I reminded them they already knew the first word from Genesis 1:1 The word for beginning בְּראשית bereshit contains the word for head ראש rosh.) - and away I went with the Hebrew version - there were many smiles all around. Then there being three fluent Korean speakers, the eldest sang a bit to us in Korean and the youngest smiled. Some things are universal - like how cultures teach children words.
The version I used is here. I did try and record it if you can play a .wav file. I really should find out what it takes to do the other control for playing things.
Note for a more complete list of body parts see here. I think I could occupy several 5 minute Hebrew lessons with a verse a week on various body parts.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We had a great procession around the neighborhood. We had a new boy from Korea at Sunday School today - and fortunately for him, our young Korean violinist was there to do simultaneous translation from Hebrew or English to Korean. What a lovely gift. How shall I spell the boys name, Jinyoung in Hebrew? Some sounds are hard to imitate.
Today I simply read Zechariah 9:9 in Hebrew and translated as I read. I asked first what did Jesus ride into Jerusalem on - and one youngster duly guessed a horse - so we talked briefly of war and peace. The three words for donkey in the text provided a nice continuation of our series on animals. I wonder if horse would make a good subject for Easter?
Monday, March 30, 2009
The task was to experience each tent and carry something away. Each child needed a password to get into the upper room when they had finished collecting their experience in all the tents. We in the Hebrew tent were the source of the passwords. We had a few books as props, a table, and a box full of words in Hebrew with the meaning and transcription on the back of each word.
The password was simple. Each child had to pick a unique Hebrew word from the box and find the correct first letter of the word. That means getting the word right side up and picking the rightmost character. Then they could find their password - the name of that Hebrew letter - by scanning the walls of the tent where all the letters were hung - right to left of course - to match the shape.
Perhaps a half-dozen of the children found this easy since the letters were not new to them - but all succeeded and each listened to a bit of the Bible in Hebrew which contained the word they chose. Then they memorized their password and put their word in their bag and went to the next tent.
After everyone had finished, children and parents all went into the church for an episode of Godly Play. Everyone came away with sparklers.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The advanced 11-year-old student was not there, but I am told by his mother that he has finished the first four chapters of Putnam's Toward Reading & Understanding Biblical Hebrew. So soon he will be teaching me. Now here is a time for careful encouragement and a new source of teaching material and experience.
Think of this though - in a small Sunday School, you can make a difference with 5 minutes a week. Children like content and a rich environment - they will respond in their own way at their own time. It is a joy to see.
This was our last week on the Hogwarts house animals. The exercise was difficult but we were able to focus on bits of it. If we come back to these verses with the same children a year from now, we can go deeper.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Here they are:
- badger (or seal or dolphin or whatever this animal is): תחש, tachash
- serpent (as in Genesis 3:1): נחש, nachash
- and lion - the fierce one from last week: שחל, shachal
The blocks have lasted well - almost a year since I made them with blocks from the dollar store and some mac-tac using this image.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I had two new 10 year olds who had never had a Hebrew lesson - I suspect they were a bit flummoxed by the 5.5 minute Hebrew lesson! (Yes I went overtime.)
Too much - too complex. I will take some of my exercise books to the Tuesday class - and it will be too little - too boring (לִ לֵ לֶ לַ לָ לֹ but we'll get through them quickly and they are useful for practicing the sounding out of words). Where is the middle ground?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Placeholders for the next 3 weeks. These are the images I will work a lesson around. The aim is that after 4 weeks the children will be able to see how letters and vowel markings fit together. They will probably learn a few other things also.
The hints so far are here
Psalm 91:13 is a beautiful example of Hebrew poetics - 6 words, a b c / c' a' b' - not quite a reversal. The image does not show the 'answer' 3-3 but puts the words in the form 2-2-2 in order to have the children find the 3-3 pattern as an exercise.
We will begin with transcription - since most of the children cannot yet hear the Hebrew - then we will move to form - all in less than 5 minutes.
And this is part of the preparation for Easter using Hebrew scripts from Hogwarts.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Such is the direction that I think we will go.
I can report after an hour's lesson today with one older student and his mother, that there is more retained and grasped than one might expect - even at 5 minutes a week! For the older student, I am now recommending 15 minutes a day.
Today's hour was largely review of the first 10 or so lessons, (see here). We did both writing and sounding out words and reading.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
I will talk to them about it - and see where it goes. I just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It too is way over the heads of the age group I am working with. The enemy within - the pairing of good and evil - the difficulty of appearances - the allusions to Job~! All these are too much - too abstract. Animals in the Bible they might cope with. But badger - so loved in the King James Version has become dolphin or sealskin in the current versions - that's a stretch! Was the tabernacle covered by the skins of an unclean animal?
Saturday, February 14, 2009
עַל־שַׁחַל וָפֶתֶן תִּדְרֹךְ תִּרְמֹס כְּפִיר וְתַנִּֽין
נֹותֵן לִבְהֵמָה לַחְמָהּ לִבְנֵי עֹרֵב אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָֽאוּ
וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים
וְעָשִׂיתָ מִכְסֶה לָאֹהֶל עֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וּמִכְסֵה עֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים מִלְמָֽעְלָה
I will give the children a very big clue: here
I am not sure yet where we are going - but I think they will learn a few words of Hebrew for they will need them in clues for an as yet to be defined Easter exercise.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Then we did the parable of the leaven as planned - I think I got most of the necessary bits in the right order. I started I think with the woman then the leaven. If I were to show the props in the word order of the Greek, I would start with the leaven. Our understanding of the kingdom of God arose naturally from Psalm 47 which is all about the king and trumpets and shouting. By beginning with the psalms, both the idea of parable and kingdom in the words of Jesus form in the mind out of the Jewish tradition.
In the response period, two of the boys hammered away at wood - and neither of them struck a finger. This is success. One of the boys asked me why we only do 3 minutes of Hebrew a week. So we worked through the whole alphabet and song. He is ready for more detail. I encouraged him to find and review the blog and ask questions. The door-keeper worked with the girls braiding, sewing, and colouring. (We just divided into girls and boys, it was not planned!)
Later I also delivered a lexicon to my senior student - maybe there will be time for lessons with more specific intent in Hebrew.
For the feast, we had the Challah which I had baked yesterday and we took time over the grace in Hebrew and English. (Thanks to this site for the image.)
Baruch 'ata Adonai Elohenu melek ha`olam
hamotsi lechem min ha-erets
Blessed are you O Lord our God king of the universe
who brings forth bread from the earth
This prayer linked our parable of the leaven with the thanksgiving of the world today and with the rule of God from all time and for all time.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I have collected and shaped the parable material for Matthew 13:33: a bit of felt, a picture or two wrapped in tape, a criticism or two suppressed, and a potential for life from a riddle.
I have a picture by Vermeer for the woman and she stands. I have three images representing three measures of meal. I have a square of tan felt which I have cut in two – one flat and one round. The round folded in half hides under the flat. I made a small golden tetrahedron for the leaven, like a morsel of sourdough. The action could begin like this:
After opening the box, take out the woman –I am going to need to practice.
then take out the little box with what she has to work with
– 3 measures of meal and the leaven –
then show what she does to make the dough by mixing them all together:
- place the flat felt piece hiding its fullness over the three measures and the tetrahedron to hide the yeast
- then leave time to rise
- then make the lump rise by pulling the larger piece of felt above the flat piece
Thursday, February 5, 2009
אֶפְתַּח בְּכִנֹּור חִידָתִי
ephetah bekinor tidati
I will open on the harp my riddle
But what about the parables of the kingdom? Do they just come out of nowhere? Is there no root for them in the Old Testament? The psalms that use mashal are Psalm 44:14, Psalm 49:3-4, Psalm 69:11, and Psalm 78:2. Psalms 44 and 78 are Maskilim - songs of skill. 49 I have not classified and 69 is one of the many personal psalms.
But who is King? And does the Old Testament kingship - particularly as portrayed in the Psalms - have anything to do with the parables of the kingdom? Part of the English problem is the substitution of heaven for kingdom in Matthew - leading us to uproot the words from the first century tradition as if somehow the place where God reigns is not our concrete reality. I hope whatever I say will not leave this impression.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Coming up to the parable of the leaven. The presentation of parables seems a little rigid to me - but I must do it like a musical performance - the same only different every time. Will summarize it later.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
After singing the alphabet song in English first then with the Hebrew letters as underlay (and following this image), I told them briefly about the 8 acrostic psalms. Then we read psalm 145:14 (which I had a challenge reading upside down - you try it) and we talked about the cost of God's support of us, the cost of our own learning when we really want to learn something (in this case, I knew I had a young violinist there, so I mentioned the cost of learning great violin music), and the reality of hope in God's support when we commit ourselves to him. Here is the image right side up also (that's the way the children would have seen it)!
I am thinking about Godly Play and I will receive a few lessons in it this week so I will report more later. It seems to me that no amount of explanation or apologetic will win commitment to the promises of God. What a mystery choice is.
I repeat the Hebrew transliteration of Psalm 145:14 from last week.
Sustains יְהוָה all the fallen
and he raises up all the distressed
Friday, January 30, 2009
And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."What Hebrew letters would you choose for the pearl?
Hmmm pearl גביש (gavish) occurs only once in the ancient writings, Job 28:18 - and it contains other rarely used words.
lo yizkar (that's a word we did recently - this one is niphal passive - not remembered - or as KJV has it - no mention shall be made)
umeshek hokmah (for the price of wisdom)
mpaninim (is above jewels / rubies?)
Pearls get a good press in Revelation 21:21
I was going to move on to the final mem and/or the samech - the suggestion that samech meaning support symbolizes the presence of God in the world is a nice one. It is curious that it is in the place of our O and that it looks like O. But it isn't O. But it is the shape of a pearl!
Read those links - the play that John Parsons has with the letters is delightful.
Psalm 145:14 is a good example of the use of samech (it is in the acrostic - the last ABG psalm.)
Sustains יְהוָה all the fallen
and he raises up all the distressed
note to self: the alef-bet is easily sung to ABC
chet-tet-yod kaf-lamed /mem-nun-samech ayin
peh-tsade qof / resh-shin taf
that's all the letters / that you have
now I know my alef-bet
see if you can sing this set
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Curiously, the first response to the colours in the image here was PH. I didn't know I had a 10 year old chemist in the class. (I think the message is - use every bit of your knowledge for joy because the children see right through you.)
Friday, January 23, 2009
I think I cannot reveal any secrets - so if I use this image, it will have to be related to the colour and shape of words.
After the parables comes the Mystery of Easter. Then the Faces of Easter for 5 Sundays.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We touched on what we do every week in the Mass where we remember Jesus' death. We did not have time to develop the act of remembering - making the past present. But we had a good start to discussion of the Eucharist and we did briefly connect to Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 to the concepts and reality behind the Eucharist and how the Exodus is similarly used in Jewish tradition. Note that in at least one Hebrew NT, the words in Luke and 1 Corinthians for remembrance and proclamation are both based on זכר
Friday, January 16, 2009
I did a new diagram of the first 7 letters here. My 5 minutes could be as little as getting them to find the first seven letters in the blocks (and introducing the seventh ז zayin), or as large as reading some of the verses they have seen earlier. I am being encouraged to include the singing and may be brave enough to do that. Repetition is important and so far I have done little repetition.
I am also reading the Godly Play book 1. I am very impressed with the chapter on a theology of childhood. I can be quite critical, but not here. I think the tone is just right. Perhaps I will blog more on this program later. I will be teaching a full session soon so I will have some new experience to report.
Another question: given 4 weeks of parables, and 6 weeks of the Lenten program on the faces of Jesus, how could the Hebrew letters and Old Testament counterbalance fit in?