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Jewish Studies

D'var Torah Friday 2nd February 2018

 

Yitro

I know I probably say this most weeks, but this week is a very exciting Torah portion!

Over the past few weeks we have been reading about the Jewish people wandering through the desert. We have been through slavery, God sending the 10 Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea and years and years of wandering through the wilderness!

Can anyone tell me the big thing that happens during this time?

We receive the 10 Commandments from God! What are the 10 Commandments, can anyone tell me any of them?

The 10 Commandments provide us with rules and laws of how we should treat people, and our relationship with God. They could also be understood to be an agreement between us and God that we are promising to keep to.

Why do you think it might be good to have rules that we should follow? Do you think rules are always a good thing?

Try and think of an expectation or agreement that you find it hard to keep to. Your challenge this week, is to work really hard at trying to keep to that agreement. Let me know during the week next week how you are getting on!

D'var Torah Friday 19th January 2018

 

Bo

This weeks Torah portion is called “bo” meaning “come”. God told Moses to come to Pharoah to ask again for him to let the Jewish people go.

God did not say to Moses, “Go”. This might mean that he was sending Moses to Pharaoh by himself! Instead, he says “Come”, this implies that instead of Moses going by himself, actually, God is calling him to come with him. “Come with me, to speak to Pharaoh, I will be by your side.”

Moses has now been and spoken to Pharaoh a few time. How did he feel when he was first asked to go and speak to Pharaoh? Do you think it got easier for him each time he had to go and speak to Pharaoh?

We have our own challenges that we face every day too. What are some things that we might find challenging?

Just like Moses had God on his side, who are some people that support us in the things we do in our lives?

Moses achieved his mission. Pharaoh let the Jews leave Egypt, with Aarons help and knowing that God was on his side Moses overcame his struggles and challenges and persevered on his mission!

When you are struggling, remember those people who are on your side, who will help you overcome and achieve things.

D'var Torah Friday 12th January 2018

 

Va’eira

This weeks Torah portion is called Va’eira. God says this word when he is talking to Moses. It means: and I appeared. Do we remember how God appeared to Moses in last weeks Torah portion? God appeared to Moses through the Burning Bush. God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that he lets his people go! How do you think Moses felt? Imagine how you would feel if someone said to you, I have chosen you to deliver the whole of Clore Shalom to safety! Do you think you could do that? How might you feel?

Moses was nervous, he didn’t feel like he would be able to talk to Pharaoh. But Moses was very lucky to have a brother. Can anyone tell me what his brother was called? Moses and Aaron worked together, when Moses was nervous his brother helped him out. Has this ever happened to you, when you were struggling with something and a sibling or friend helped you? Can you think of a time when you have done this for someone else?

What advice would you give to Moses if he was your friend? Every day in school we see our pupils supporting and encouraging each other. As part of our community here we encourage Growth Mindset, what do you think Moses could do to build his confidence or be able to talk to Pharaoh?

Are there things that you could use your growth mindset for in school? I’d like you all to think of something to work on next week, and really try and improve your thinking, please let me know what you are working on and how it’s going next week as I love hearing how you are all doing!

D'var Torah Friday 5th January

 

Shemot

This week we start a new book in Torah, Exodus. Or in Hebrew it is called Shemot. A lot happens in the beginning of this book. Pharaoh feels threatened by the Jews, Moses is born, he is raised by Pharaoh’s daughter and then leaves to Midian, he gets married and comes across the burning bush where God tells him he must go back to Pharaoh and demand “Let my people go!”.

It is a very exciting portion with lots happening in it and lots of really significant people.

 

First though, I want to start with a question. Who has power to make change? In the beginning of Shemot there are lots of people who make decisions that affect other people. Some of them are good, and some of them could be considered bad. But each of them makes change. First of all, when Pharaoh told two midwives to get rid of the baby boys, they refused. Next, when Moses is older he talks to God through the burning bush. Moses is given a big responsibility of going back to Egypt to save the Jews from slavery.

 

How do you think you might have felt if someone told you that you had to go to Pharaoh and tell him something that he really really wouldn’t want to hear? What would Moses need to help him with this challenge? How did Moses know that he would be able to do this?

 

Moses was chosen to help the Jewish people. He was brave and needed to be a good leader. The midwives disagreed with what the Pharaoh wanted them to do, they were brave and believed in themselves, knowing they were doing the right thing. We see Moses and the Midwives all making positive change in very different ways.

 

What could you do to make positive change in a small way or a big way?

Friday 15th September 2017 Weekly D'var Torah

Nitzavim Vayelech

 

This weeks portion is called Nitzavim Vayelech. It is another double portion, can anyone remember why we read two portions some weeks?

We need to make sure that we have read the whole Torah throughout the year, so some weeks we read two portions so that we can fit it all in!

 

The portion of Nitzavim Vayelech includes some of the fundamental principles of Judaism. Moses reminds the Jewish people of the unity with Israel, Torah and freedom of choice. Moses reminds us of the laws, blessings and curses throughout the Torah which provides us with laws and teachings of how we can live our lives. Ultimately though, we have the choice of how to follow these, and how we choose to behave.

What do you think freedom of choice means?

 

Moses teaches that we have been told what to do and we know in our heart what the right thing to do is. We make choices every day, every minute of every day. Right now, you are all choosing to listen and learn. At other times at home maybe, you choose if you want to watch TV or read a book for example. We make choices about whether to allow ourselves to be distracted by others in our class, or to talk when we shouldn’t be, or to pay attention and try hard to learn.

What are some other good choices you have made?

 

We know the world is made up of good and bad, we see it every day on a small scale, and nationally and globally. The Torah guides us as to which path to follow, but we must make the choice to do good and to be good. The older year groups have been talking about this in our JS lessons this week, how can we be the best person we can be, what choices and decisions can we make every moment of every day to be the best that we can be.

Your challenge this week is to choose the good, in the lead up to Rosh Hashanah and this time for reflection make the good decisions and be the best you can be.

Friday 8th September 2017

Weekly D'var Torah talked about at Kabbalat Shabbat

 

"We are now coming to the end of the Torah, with only a few weeks left! This means that Moses reminds us of all the laws, commandments and punishments from God. This portion is important as it reminds us how we should behave and treat each other.

Can someone tell me something that is a good way to behave or a good way to treat someone?

 

It’s also really helpful that Moses reminds us of these things, sometimes we need to be reminded don’t we? Especially after spending six weeks off school, and now we’ve got to get back in to the swing of things; remembering our Maths, Hebrew and all the other things we learnt last year, it’s helpful to maybe start the year with a bit of a refresher! For some of us we also need to get back in to the routine of being in school, listening to each other and not talking over people, respecting each other and being ready to learn. Just like in Torah where Moses reminds the Jewish people of the rules and expectations we have similar rules and expectations here in our Clore Shalom community too, who feels like they can remember some of the rules we have in our community?

 

It is while Moses reminds the Jewish people of these commandments that he also reminds them that they are God’s chosen people and that they in turn have chosen God. What do you think it means to be a chosen person? Why might you get chosen for something?

 

At the end of this weeks Torah portion Moses explains a list of good and bad consequences that will happen dependent on if people follow the laws or not. Is that a little bit like school? We all know the rules and if we follow them then good things happen, and if we don’t there are consequences, yes?
What consequences or rewards do we have in school, for good or bad things?

 

Moses ends by telling the Jewish people that after forty years they have got: “a heart to know, eye to see, and ears to hear”, what do you think we mean by ‘a heart to know’?

 

My challenge for you this week is to listen to your heart, when making decisions listen to your heart, to your gut, what is the right thing to do, think about people’s feelings and your feelings, use your heart to know.

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