Creative Grade Shabbat Services 2013-2014
Each grade will be assigned a theme for its service, which will come from the weekly Torah reading. The areas that will be integrated into each class service are: writing, art, and music. If you have ideas, projects or other medium that you would like to use in the service, please let me know.
Seventh Grade: Parashat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27
Seventh Grade: December 6, 2013
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, prompting the entire family to move to Egypt, where Joseph reunites with his father, Jacob.
Because a silver goblet has been found in Benjamin’s bag, Joseph demands that Benjamin remain a slave in Egypt while the brothers return to their father.
Parashat Vayigash begins with Judah’s plea to Joseph.
”Oh my lord, have you a father or another brother? My father had two children by his adored wife Rachel. But his firstborn son was torn to pieces, and he warned us that if an accident befalls Benjamin, “you will bring me to my grave in misery.”
“And now,” Judah said, “if I come home and the youngest lad is not with us, and the soul of the one is bound up with the soul of the other, then it shall come to pass that he shall die in sorrow. Please take me as your slave instead of Benjamin.”
Revealing His Identity
Joseph could no longer control himself. He released all his servants so that he could be alone with his brothers. “I am Joseph,” he said crying so loudly the whole palace could hear. “Is my father still well?”
But the brothers could not answer him because they were dumbfounded in Joseph’s presence.
“Now,” Joseph said, “do not be troubled about selling me into this place, for God sent me here in order to preserve life. So it was not you who sent me here. It was God. Hurry, go to my father and tell him the news and bring him here. I will provide for all of you.” Joseph then fell on Benjamin and wept. He kissed his brothers and wept in their embrace. His brothers, too, wept with him.
Pharaoh was pleased to hear the news of Joseph’s brothers. He urged Joseph to bring his father and all the brothers’ families to Egypt. He offered them the best wagons to help them move and the choicest of lands when they arrived.
The brothers reached their father’s home. They told him that Joseph was still alive and that he had royal status. Jacob’s heart stood still because he did not believe them. But when they told him what Joseph had said and when he saw the wagons, the spirit of Jacob revived and he said, “It is too much. Joseph, my son is still alive. I will go there. I want to see him before I die.”
Sixth Grade: Parashat BeShallach, Exodus 13:17-17:16
Sixth Grade: January 10, 2014
In this Torah portion, God tells Moses to set camp the Israelites at the Sea of Reeds until Pharaoh changes his mind about freeing the Jews and chases his former slaves. With the Egyptians on their tail, God splits the sea and Moses leads the Israelites through it. When the Egyptians entered, God closed the waters and the Egyptians drowned. Miriam led all the women in song and dance to celebrate. Soon after, the Israelites begin to complain about life in the desert. God provides quail and manna to feed the Israelites. The Israelites battle the Amalekites and win.
Now God did not lead the Jews out of Egypt on the most direct route, but took the people by way of the wilderness.
God went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire at night so they could travel day and night.
Upon leaving Egypt, Moses takes Joseph's bones with him, recalling Joseph's dying words, “God will surely remember you and then bring my bones with you to the promised land.”
God told Moses to camp by the Sea of Reeds. “I will then harden Pharaoh's heart so he will try to capture you there. Then I shall assert My authority over Pharaoh and everyone will acknowledge that I am the Lord.” It happened just as God predicted. Pharaoh went after the Jews with his best army.
As Pharaoh's army approached, the Israelites cried out to the Lord and Moses in fear. “Why did you bring us here to die? Let us go back to Egypt and be slaves.”
“Don't be afraid.” Moses answered. “Stand firm. Watch how God will deliver you.”
Then God said to Moses, “When you stretch forth your hand over the sea, it will split and you shall cross safely. But with a stiffened heart, the Pharaoh's army will go in after you. They may be mighty but I will prove that I am Almighty.”
Then the angel of God went behind the Jewish camp while a pillar of cloud went in front of the Egyptian camp so one would not come near the other.
Moses then stretched out his hand and the Lord commanded a strong east wind to split the water. With walls of water on either side, the Israelites crossed the river on dry land.
Then when the Egyptian army raced after them, God confounded them with mud to break their chariots' wheels.
Afterwards, God told Moses to stretch out his hand again and let the water return. By morning the sea had covered Pharaoh's army so that not even one of them remained.
When the Jewish people saw what the Lord did to the Egyptians, they trusted in God and Moses as God's prophet. The Moses and the Israelites sang this song unto the Lord:
“Who is like Thee, O Lord,
Among all the gods who are worshipped?
Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness?
Awesome in splendor, working wonders!
The Lord will reign for ever and ever.”
Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, with her drum in her hand led the women in song and dance. “Sing unto the Lord for God has triumphed gloriously.”
Fifth Grade: Parashat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10
Fifth Grade: February 7, 2014
In this Torah portion, God appoints Aaron and his sons as priests. God describes the priestly clothing, and explains how to properly sanctify the priests. Aaron is commanded to make incense offerings to God every morning on an altar. God explains that once a year Aaron will make an offering on that altar to atone for all of the Israelites' sins.
“And Moses,” God commands, “you shall command the sons of Israel to use pure olive oil for kindling the light of the lamps.
Aaron shall set up this light to burn continuously in the sanctuary. It will serve as a light for God for all generations.
“Have Aaron and his sons serve Me as priests. Make for them sacred garments using fine linen, gold and blue, purple and scarlet yarns. Make for them a breast-piece, an ephod, a robe, a tunic of checkered work and a sash. These garments must always be worn when officiating in My sanctuary.
“For Aaron's ephod, take two lazuli stones and engrave in gold on them the names of the tribes of Israel. Thus Aaron shall carry their names before God as a remembrance.”
“In the sanctuary, says God, “Aaron shall wear a pure gold Breastplate of Judgment, with engraved stones representing the tribes of Israel. Aaron?s robe for officiating will be pure turquoise wool with bells of gold all around. In this way, the sound of the bells can be heard when the High Priest comes into the Lord?s sanctuary and when he goes out, so that he may not die.
“For Aaron's forehead, you shall make a head-plate of pure gold inscribed with: 'Holy to The Lord.' Thus Aaron shall bring forgiveness for sins in which a sacred offering is offered.”
“Make tunics, sashes and turbans of fine embroidered linen for the sons of Aaron to give them dignity and glory. Anoint them and invest them with the full authority to serve Me as priests. They shall only wear linen when serving Me officially.
Fourth Grade: Parashat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-6:7
Fourth Grade: March 7, 2014
In this Torah portion, God describes the laws of animal sacrifice. God explains the different sacrifices that atone for guilt or sins, and distinguishes between sins committed inadvertently and sins committed on purpose. For many crimes, animal sacrifice is a way to gain forgiveness from God.
Moses has conducted a ceremony to anoint the Tent of Appointed Meeting and
A cloud now covers the Tent of Appointed Meeting, and the Presence of the Lord fills the Tabernacle.
God calls to Moses, “Explain to the sons of Israel the ways of bringing offerings to God. There will be offerings of animals and grains and fruit. Animals for sacrifice shall be male and without blemish. These animals shall be killed and washed and burned so each shall smoke on the altar in the Tent of Appointed Meeting. This will be for an ascent offering, an offering made by fire in expression of compliance to God and to make atonement before God.
“For the grain, make the offering with fine wheat flour and oil and incense. Put it straight on the altar. Anything leavened shall be made into a fire offering. You shall season every offering of grain with salt.
“For the offerings of cattle and small livestock, all the fat belongs to God. It shall be an everlasting statute for your descendants in all your dwelling places not to eat any fat, nor any blood.
“If a person inadvertently sins, then sin offerings are to be made. If the entire council of Israel sins inadvertently and something is hidden from the community, guilt will be incurred. If the sin becomes known in the community, then the community shall bring an offering for sin. A bull is to be brought by the elders of the community and made into an offering to clear the community of sin.
Third Grade Parashat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33
Third Grade: April 4, 2014
In this Torah portion, God describes the purification ritual for people and homes afflicted with skin diseases; God also instructs Moses and Aaron regarding the laws of the emission of bodily fluids.
God spoke to Moses, saying, “This is the instruction on how to purify a leper who is healed.
K, 1st, and 2nd Grades: Parashat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23
K, 1st, & 2nd Grades: May 2, 2014
In this Torah portion, God describes the restrictions related to priests' sexuality and marriage. God then describes a variety of holidays, including Passover, Shabbat, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. God outlines the omer period, asking the Israelites to bring food offerings to the priests for seven weeks.
These are My appointed times for meeting. Six days shall work be done and on the seventh day you must stop performing any work and proclaim it a Sabbath of rest. It is a Sabbath to God in all your dwelling places.
In the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, is a Passover to God. On the fifteenth of that month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread and for seven days you shall eat only unleavened bread. On the first day, you shall proclaim it holy and do no work. The seventh day shall also be holy and you shall do no work.
When you come to the promised land that I give you and you reap the harvest, you shall bring an omer, a portion of your first reaping to the priest, who will offer it to God. After seven complete Sabbaths from the time of these offerings, counting fifty days, you shall bring a new offering to God. You shall bring bread, leavened and unleavened, and make offerings with unblemished animals as an expression of compliance to God. You shall leave the gleaning of your harvest for the poor man and the stranger.
Yom Kippur & Sukkot
In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, there shall be a Day of Atonement. You shall starve your vital energies. You must not do any creating work, nor any activity on that day. Indeed if any person does not afflict himself on that day, he is to be cut-off from his kinspeople. This holy Shabbat, this Day of Atonement, is an everlasting statute for your descendants, in all your dwelling places.
On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Huts. Seven days shall be dedicated to God. On the first day and the eighth day, you must not do any work. You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of the tree of beauty, leaves of palm branches and myrtle branches and willows of the brook, and rejoice before God. You shall live in booths seven days in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.
In the Tent of Meeting outside the curtain of the Pact, Aaron shall set up a light to burn regularly, night and day, for all generations. Every Sabbath Day, Aaron shall have bread and incense and make an offering to the Lord.
Each class should do the following:
Writing: The students in the writing class should write creative pieces on the theme of the service. The students can read poems or other literature that they can find that is related to the theme of the service. The students’ writings will be interspersed throughout the service. The students may also choose to come up with a skit that demonstrates the theme of their service.
Art: The art class should create a murel, posters, collages, and/or individual pictures related to the theme of the service. The class project(s) will be put up around the sanctuary. If the students or teacher have other ideas of how to integrate art into the service, they would be most welcome. The class will be asked to present their work during the service and talk about its meaning and how it was envisioned.
Music: The students in this class will work with Cantor Micah Morgavsky in choosing some songs that will also relate to the theme of the service. The class can also sing a song or two at the service.
In addition to these three pieces, the students will help to lead the service as usual.
The prayers to be included (depending upon the grade and knowledge of the students) are:
Barechu, Ma’ariv Aravim, Shema, V’ahavta, Chatzi Kaddish, Avot v’Emahot, Gevurot, Kedusha, Retzay, Hoda’ah, Aleynu, Mourners Kaddish, Kiddush
We will speak individually regarding each class and the prayers that the students should lead at the service. Each class will be given responsibility for leading a part of the service, and the prayers that come during that section.