The Tower of Babel January 31, 2016
Posted on February 1, 2016
It was wonderful being with so many of you yesterday at the Synaplex.
Today as we enjoyed a breakfast of Chex (a square cereal), we talked about the squares and corners in Jewish life—matzah, tallit corners, prayerbooks, challah covers, etc. Then we reviewed the Ten Commandments, the parasha of the week.
After tefillot with Cantor Ken and Robin, we began our Hebrew lesson, learning two letters. The first was the silent letter alef א. Some words beginning with א are aron kodesh, afikomen, etrog, and echad (one). Cheryl and I showed our groups how the vowel marks change the sound of alef. We also learned וvav. Some ו words are Vashti, vav (hook), and vered (rose). As we learn each new letter, we review the older ones, looking at similarities like resh and vav.
Later, we read the pamphlet about the Tower of Babel. Everyone spoke the same language, and they began building a tower to be famous and as great as G-d. In their pride and arrogance they forgot to care for each other. All other concerns became unimportant. G-d confused their speech so that they could no longer work together. We experienced this with cards in different languages. The students had to locate others who spoke their language. As the people scattered all over the land, the tower fell to ruin. “Babble” means unintelligible speech.
We brainstormed Jewish values that the people of Babel forgot—kindness, sharing, caring for the sick, honoring parents, helping other people, etc. One child mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King caring for others; I talked about how Jewish people helped blacks register to vote, and marched with him for justice. Then the students created their own towers, drawn with blocks and Jewish values.
We ended the morning with songs—Trees Are Blowing in the Wind and Tree of Life.
Shavua tov! Have a great week.
Judy and Cheryl (Esther and Tzipporah)