Grade 6 Update 9.26 (Rav Elana)
Posted on September 27, 2016
Dear Kitah Vav-Gr.6 Parents,
This past week we have been focused on blessings—the ones we say or sing when we perform a mitzvah. We understand mitzvah as something that we are commanded to do by the Torah or the rabbis who shaped Jewish life after the fall of the second Temple in 70CE. Being aware of the mitzvot, the blessings and the activities they bless, is a path toward gratitude for all that we have. We will continue studying brachot with Birchot HaShahar and other blessings that we say to warm the spirit before the Call to Prayer in the morning Shaharit prayer service.
Your student now has several prayer sheets, placed in plastic sleeves. Last week each was given The Tallit Blessing and Blessing for various mitzvot. Yesterday each was given Sukkot blessings and the blessing before dipping apples in honey on Rosh HaShanah. My only homework assignment* is to call my Google Voice number: 617-410-8145 and read the blessings with good pronunciation and fluency. They should not call until they are sure the blessing is fluent and comfortable to read.
*The only other written homework will happen if a student does not complete a lesson that was done in class and completed by the majority of students. This actually happened in class yesterday. A few students did not complete written responses to a work sheet on ideas for a classroom brit.
On Sunday we did some Torah study from The Holiness Code (Parashat Kedoshim), Leviticus 19:12-19, to see that Torah gives us instructions (counted as commandments in the 613 mitzvot of Torah) about how we treat others. This was a lead-in to the students thinking about a classroom brit, or agreement, and then writing them down under some prompts on a brit worksheet. As a class we will generate our own mitzvot for living in a respectful classroom community.
We had our first Gesher-Kitah Vav sanctuary service. This service happens three times a month; the fourth sanctuary service is with the entire school community. With Gesher we are exploring Birchot HaShahar (Morning Blessings), and the blessings coming before and after the morning blessings. On three Sundays in November the whole religious school is participating in a wonderful quilt/wall-hanging art project focused on the Morning Blessings and the prayers that come before and after it. Each class is responsible for creating a patch artistically expressing the prayers it has been assigned. Kitah Vav will create patches for the “Blessing before Torah Study”, Mah Tovu, and Modeh Ani. Stay tuned for more details from Robin about this school-wide project.
I hope that I will get to meet many of you on Tuesday or Wednesday at 5:30pm in Room 11, when parents are invited to meet with me, Cantor Ken, and our Ed. Director, Robin. You will hear more about the Grade 6/Kitah Vav curriculum. There will be time to ask questions and clarify any confusion.
Wishing all a sweet, healthy new year of growth, fulfillment, and peace.