Religious School Grade Shabbat
Creative Grade Shabbat Services
Each grade will be assigned a theme for its service (see below for each grade), which will come from the weekly Torah reading. The areas that will be integrated into each class service are: writing, art, and music.
Each class will 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.
Seventh Grade Service, December 7, 2012: Parashat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1 - 40:23
In this Torah portion, Jacob favors Joseph, and this angers Joseph's brothers. Joseph has dreams where he predicts reigning over his brothers. The brothers decide to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute and sleeps with her father-in-law Judah. Potiphar's wife tries to seduce Joseph, and when he rejects her, she accuses him of trying to rape her, and has him sent to prison. In prison, Pharaoh's baker and butler have dreams, and Joseph interprets them correctly.
These are the descendants of Jacob. Joseph was 17 and a shepherd watching sheep with his brothers. In an evil manner, Joseph reported his brothers' idle talk to his father. But Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons and made him an embroidered coat. When the brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more, they hated him. Joseph dreamed a dream. The brothers did not want to hear the dream and hated him even more. But Joseph said to them, "Please listen to this dream. We're piling up wheat in the middle of the field and my wheat pile arose and stood upright and your wheat piles formed a circle around me and bowed down." "Are you to become king over us," asked the brothers hatefully, "or perhaps do you rule over us already?"
Then Joseph dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and father. "The sun and the moon and 11 stars bowed down to me," he said. His father rebuked him, "What kind of dream is this? Shall I, your mother and your brothers come to bow to the ground before you?" His brothers now envied him and his father kept the matter in mind. The brothers went to tend to their father's sheep. Later, Jacob sent Joseph to check on them. He found his brothers, but as he approached, they imagined Joseph plotting against them and believed that he deserved to die.
They said to one another. "Behold, here comes the master of dreams. Come let us kill him, let us throw him into one of the pits and say that a wild beast ate him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams." Reuben, the eldest son, heard this and rescued Joseph from their hands. Reuben said, "Do not spill any blood, throw him into this pit but do not lay a hand on him." Reuben left planning to return later and bring Joseph back to their father.
The brothers seized Joseph, taking his coat and throwing him into the empty, waterless pit. Suddenly, a caravan of Yishmaelites came on the horizon. They were going to Egypt. So Yehudah says to the others. "Hey, let's sell him. After all, he is our brother, our
Sixth Grade, January 11, 2013: Parashat Va'era, Exodus 6:2 - 9:35
In this Torah portion, God tells Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh refuses to free the Israelite slaves and God unleashes plagues on the Egyptians. Pharaoh promises to free the Israelites and asks Moses to stop each plague, but each time, God hardens Pharaoh's heart. The portion ends with the plague of hail stopping, and Pharaoh changing his mind once again.
God spoke to Moses, "I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God but I did not make Myself known to them by My other name (which is neither pronounced nor translated). I established My covenant with them to give them the land ofCanaan. I have heard the moaning of the Israelite slaves. I have remembered My covenant. Say, therefore, to the Israelites, 'I am the Lord. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and through miracles. I will take you to be My people and I will be your God. You shall know that I am God who freed you from your labors in Egypt and gave you the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
The Lord told Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. But Moses retorted, "The Israelites would not listen to me; how then should Pharaoh heed me, a man of impeded speech!" The Lord replied to Moses, "I place you in the role of god to Pharaoh with your brother Aaron as your prophet. You shall repeat all that I command you and Aaron shall speak to the Pharaoh. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart so that I may multiply My signs and marvels in the land ofEgypt. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I deliver the Israelites from their midst."
Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 when they made their demand on Pharaoh. The Lord told Moses and Aaron, "When Pharaoh says to 'produce your miracles,' then cast your rod before Pharaoh and it shall turn into a serpent.
Fifth Grade, February 1, 2013: Parashat Yitro
In this Torah portion, Moses tells his father-in-law, Jethro, about the miracle of the exodus. Jethro proclaims that the Israelite God is greater than all other gods, and he makes a sacrifice. Jethro then advises Moses to delegate leadership roles in order to not tire himself out. The Israelites camp at the bottom of Mount Sinai. After three days, the mountain was fills with smoke and God delivers the Ten Commandments to His people.
The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:2 - 14
|1||I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.|
|2||You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.|
|3||You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.|
|4||Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.|
|5||Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.|
|6||You shall not murder.|
|7||You shall not commit adultery.|
|8||You shall not steal.|
|9||You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.|
|10||You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's|
Fourth Grade, March 1, 2013: Parashat Ki Tisa Exodus 30:11-34:35
In this Torah portion, Moses stays with God on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights. There, he is given the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. Fearing that Moses will never return, the Israelites turn to Aaron, who demands that everyone bring him their gold, so he can make a golden calf. When Moses comes down the mountain and sees the people dancing around this idol, he smashes the tablets on the ground. God punishes all the Israelites who were involved with a plague. Moses builds a tent to be his meeting place with God. When God finished speaking, God gave Moses the two stone Tablets of Testimony written with the finger of God. At this moment, the people were beginning to wonder if Moses would ever return. They gathered against Aaron saying, ôMake us a god who shall go before us, for we do not know what happened to Moses.öŁ
ôRemove your gold earrings and bring them to me,öŁ Aaron answered. And the people did. Aaron then melted the gold and molded it into a golden calf. The people exclaimed, ôThis is the god, O Israel, which brought us out of the land of Egypt.öŁ Aaron built an altar before the golden calf, proclaiming, ôA festival to the Lord, tomorrow.öŁ Early the next day, the people feasted and made offerings. Back on Mount Sinai, the Lord said to Moses, ôGo, descend, for the people brought from the land of Egypt have become corrupt. They strayed quickly. They made a molten calf and worshipped it as if it were Me. Now let Me alone so My anger may destroy them.öŁ
But Moses pleaded with God, ôWhy destroy the people whom You saved? Why should the Egyptians say, God saved them with evil intent, to kill the people later? Reconsider. Remember your promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to multiply their offspring like stars of heaven and give them the promised land.öŁ And the Lord renounced the punishment planned for the people.Moses left Mount Sinai with the two stone Tablets of Testimony in his hands. On these Tablets, written on both their sides, was the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God. As soon as Moses saw the calf and the dancing, his anger flared. He cast the Tablets out of his hands and shattered them. Then Moses took the calf, burnt it with fire, ground it to powder, threw it upon the water and made the children of Israeldrink it. Moses confronted Aaron, ôWhat did these people do to you that you permitted such a great sin?öŁ ôDo not be angry,öŁ Aaron answered. ôYou know the people are predisposed toward evil. They said to me, öśMake us a god, which shall go before us, for we know not what has become of Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt.' So I told them to bring me their gold jewelry and I cast it in the fire and out came this calf.öŁ
Moses saw the people were out of control, since Aaron had let them get out of control. So Moses stood outside the camp gate and said, ôWhoever is for the Lord, come here!öŁ Inside the camp some three thousand people were then killed. The next day, Moses said to the people, ôYou have sinned a great sin. Now I will go to God and try to make atonement.öŁ Moses went to God and said, ôIf you cannot give the people forgiveness, then blot me out from Your book which You have written.öŁ God responded, ôWhoever has sinned against Me, him I will blot out from My book! But when I remember their sin, on that day, there will be a reckoning.öŁ Then God sent a plague upon the people.
ôNow go, Moses, and take the people to the land flowing with milk and honey, as I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I will send an Angel before you and drive out the native peoples. But I will not go in your midst, since you are a stiff-necked people, lest I destroy you on the way.öŁ When the people heard this harsh warning, they mourned and no one put on their fine jewelry. Moses erected the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. Whoever sought God would go out to the Tent of Meeting. Whenever Moses went to the Tent, all the people would watch as a pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the Tent while the Lord spoke with Moses. When the people saw this pillar of cloud, all the people stood and worshipped God.
ôOh, God,öŁ Moses said in the Tent of Meeting, ôlet me behold Your Presence.öŁ God answered, ôI have singled you out by Name. I will make all My goodness pass before you. I will be gracious to those to whom I will be gracious and show compassion to those to whom I will show compassion. But you cannot see My face, for no human may see Me and live. But stand on the rock and God answered, ôI have singled you out by Name. I will make all My goodness pass before you. I will be gracious to those to whom I will be gracious and show compassion to those to whom I will show compassion. But you cannot see My face, for no human may see Me and live. But stand on the rock and when My glory passes by, you shall see My back, but My face may not be seen.öŁ
God then said to Moses, ôNow come back to the mountain and carve two tablets of stone like the first. I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets you broke.öŁ Moses did as God said and brought two new tablets of stone up to Mount Sinai. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with Moses. God proclaimed, ôThe Lord, the Lord, God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness and truth, extending mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving Iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation.öŁ
Moses bowed his head, worshipping and asking God to pardon the sins of the people and take them as an inheritance. God said, ôBehold, I make a covenant, I make distinctions such as never have been created in all the earth, nor in any nation. All the people shall see the work of the Lord. Observe what I am commanding this day. I will drive peoples off their land, lest you follow their ways or sacrifice unto their gods. ôInstead, you shall break down their altars and smash their pillars. For you shall bow down to no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. You shall make no molten gods. Passover shall you keep. The Sabbath you shall keep. Shavout you shall keep. You shall redeem your firstborn. You shall give the first of your produce to the Temple of God. Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk. Write these words of my covenant. According to these words have I sealed a covenant with you and Israel.öŁ
Moses remained with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights and did not eat bread nor drink water. God wrote upon the Tablets, the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. When Moses came down from the Mount Sinai with the two Tablets of Testimony, Moses did not know that his face radiated because he had spoken with God. When Aaron and the people saw the way Moses' face radiated, they were afraid to come toward him. Moses beckoned them forward. First he gave the Commandments to the priests and rulers and then to all the children of Israel. Moses gave them all that the Lord had spoken upon Mount Sinai. When Moses was done speaking, he put a veil on his face. When Moses went to speak to God, he took the veil off. When the children of Israel saw Moses' face radiating, Moses put the veil back upon his face until he went to speak again with God.
Third Grade,April 5, 2013: Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47
In this Torah portion, God commands Aaron and his sons to make the burnt and sin offerings at the Tabernacle. When God accepts the offerings, the people shout with joy. God describes to Moses the laws of kashrut, making distinctions between land animals, birds, and animals in the water.
These are the creatures that you may eat from among all the land animals: any animal that has true hooves, with clefts through the hoofs, and that chews the cud, you may eat. The following animals who either chew the cud or have true hooves, you shall not eat: the camel, the rabbit, the hare, and the pig. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses. They are unclean to you. From the waters, seas and rivers, you may eat all creatures except what does not have fins and scales. They are an abomination to you. You shall not eat of their flesh.
And these you shall hold in abomination from among the fowl; they shall not be eaten: the eagle, the vulture, the kite, falcons and ravens of every variety, the ostrich, the sea gull, any variety of hawk and owls, the pelican, the stork, herons of every variety, the hoopoe and the bat. All winged swarming things that go upon four legs are an abomination to you. Only those insects that have above their feet, jointed legs to leap with on the ground may you eat, such as locusts, crickets and grasshoppers of every variety. All other winged swarming things that have four legs shall be an abomination to you. All animals that walk on paws, among those that walk on fours, are unclean for you. Also unclean are those living things that creep on the earth, such as the mole, the mouse, lizards, crocodiles, and chameleons. Whoever touches anything unclean, whether directly, by cloth or by container, they shall remain unclean until evening. Then they shall be clean. And every thing that creeps upon the earth, it is an abomination and shall not be eaten. Whatever goes upon the belly, upon four legs or many legs, all creeping things are an abomination.
You shall not make yourselves unclean by eating these things. For I the Lord am your God: you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am holy. For I, the Lord God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, you shall be holy for I am holy.
K, 1st, & 2nd Grades, May 3, 2012: Parashat Behar-Bechukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34
God tells Moses to instruct the people in the laws of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, as well as how to relate to those in the community who become impoverished.God also tells the people of Israel that if they follow God's commandments, they will be provided with rain to feed their crops. God then describes the long list of punishments that will be inflicted on the Israelites if they do not follow God's laws.
Parashat Behar discusses the sabbatical year and the jubilee year. The Israelites are told that they may sow their fields and prune their vineyards for six years, but during the seventh year the land must be given a complete Sabbath year of rest. During this year, the people can eat what the land happens to produce, but can do nothing extra to have it yield its fruits. During the sabbatical year, all debts are to be forgiven. Likewise, every 50th year is the jubilee year, in which no work can be done in the fields. During the jubilee year, all Israelites who had been enslaved during the previous 49 years are granted their freedom. Also during the jubilee year, any properties purchased during the previous 49 years are to be returned to the descendents of those who were given the land at the time the Israelites originally entered it.
In Parashat Bechukotai God says: If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant rain so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees their fruit. I will grant peace and you shall sleep with no fear. I will cause vicious beasts to withdraw from the land and your enemies will fall before you. I, your God, will look with favor upon you and make you fertile and multiply. I will establish My covenant with you. I will place My Sanctuary among you and My Spirit will not reject you. I will walk among you, I will be God to you, and you will be a people to Me. I, who broke the bonds of your slavery and taught you to walk upright.
But if you will not listen to Me, if your soul rejects My laws and if you do not carry out My commandments and break My covenant, then I will do the same to you. I will bring upon you illness that fills the spirit with grief. You will then sow your seed in vain. I will set My countenance against you and you will be beaten by your enemies. Those that hate you will rule over you and you will flee even though no one pursues you.