August 7, 2020 |

Grade 7-GESHER IS AMAZING!

Posted on February 5, 2018

Gesherhad an amazing and very busy Sunday!  First we explored similarities and differences between Purim and Passover such as strong heroic women, redeemers with royal connections, and “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”  In another Purim-Passover activity, we looked at 15 similar texts.  Some of the texts were from the Book of Exodus, others were from Megillat Esther and some are attributed to Hitler.  Students were tasked with sorting the texts according to source. Our recognition of a recurring trend in our history was terrifying!
Pirkei Avot 2:16, You are not obligated to complete the work but neither are you free to abandon it had robust connections for us to other Jewish texts. The Hebrew word, ‘work’ in this mishna is the same used in Genesis (1:31-2:3) which describes God’s work in creating the world and His abstention from work on Shabbat.  From this we understand that this text involves partnering with God in the work of Creation.  How do we do that?  We recognize that creation is still in progress and noted that many things need to be fixed in God’s world.  Students suggested some things that need fixing:
  • Pollution
  • The Middle East conflict
  • War
  • Terrorism
  • Hunger and starvation
  • Global warming
  • Under-age marriages
  • Exploitation of children
  • Rising sea levels
Then we looked at the word for ‘free’ and found that we know it from the morning blessings in which we thank God for making us free and from the Haggadah where we note that in the past we were slaves and now we are free.  The implication is that God has made us free to be God’s partners in tikkun olam, world repair.

Next week we will continue to explore Megillat Esther and Purim to find new understandings and personal connections.