Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Shema

Today, O joy - one of the children reminded me before I had sat down that we were to sing the Shema and so I asked them to tell me the words. They correctly repeated to me all the words with one or two questions to prompt them. It was a group effort. It showed me that repetition is critical to learning. And it showed me that they have learned. This is the fourth week in a row that we have sung the Shema and taken apart its words.

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!)

This morning's lesson was on the Tabernacle, and Alix had prepared a brilliant tabernacle constructed with popsicle sticks. I did not stay for the whole lesson - too much singing to do, but I did introduce the Song as a special place in the Bible - such as Rabbi Akiva noted.

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)

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