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Jewish Studies

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.