September 16-18 and 23-25
12-14 and 19-21 Tishri
These two weeks of Sukkot were full, full, full weeks!
Sukkot & Simchat Torah
We ate lunch in the shul sukkah before and during Sukkot. When we ate lunch during Sukkot we learned and recited the bracha for dwelling in the sukkah. We made decorations for the shul sukkah. We made decorations for the shul sukkah IN the shul sukkah. We danced in the Shul sukkah.
We took a Sukkah Stroll, visiting congregant Reba 's sukkah and our Shirlee's sukkah as well. Afterwards we played at Charlie Dorr park. A big thank you to the parent volunteers who made this possible: Melissa (Lilit's Ima), Daniel (Asher's Aba), and Jess (Hadas' Ima).
Melita sang Sukkot and Sukkot themed songs with us.
We talked about the Torah, sang songs about the Torah, held special children's Torahs, unrolled one of these miniature Torahs. Then we visited the Torah in the sanctuary, opening the curtain to see the Aron HaKodesh, and then opening the Aron HaKodesh to see the Torahs with their rimmonim.
After visiting the Torah we continued on to the shul sukkah where we watched Rabbi Creditor and many congregants performing the Hakafot for Hoshannah Rabbah. Rabbi Creditor commented that it was wonderful to have the little ones, hakatanim, visiting and watching the big ones, hagedolim, while they sang the Hallal prayers that include the lines "hakatanim im hagedolim."
We made a pretend sukkah.
We have been reading many books about Sukkot and Simchat Torah, including: Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast, Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake, The Vanishing Gourds, and Sammy Spider's First Sukkot and First Simchat Torah.
Family and G-d's Love
To ease the children's transition and in keeping with the spirit of Yom Kippur's recitation of God's thirteen attributes, we have been reading many classic picture books celebrating parental love. These include: The Kissing Hand, I'll Always Love You, Love You Forever, Mama Do You Love Me, Guess How Much I Love You, and Runaway Bunny.
We also practiced the middah of Gemilut Chasadim recently when the children voted to share the leftover muffins we made in class with the Nachshonim rather than eat them ourselves.
We also finished up our discussion of Yom Kippur by sharing a Jewish version of the First Nations' story about the two wolves who live inside each of us. Who wins, Saba, the yetzer hara or the yetzer hatov? The one you feed, child.
And since I didn't mention it last week, the most popular Yamim Noraim picture books have been Tashlich at Turtle Rock and Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride.
It was right after Yom Kippur when the classroom pet, Boris the Rat died. We talked about his death at circle time, taking time to answer the children's questions in an age appropriate manner. Later we said a prayer for him at our closing circle.
Every week the Nachshonim join us in our kitah for Havdallah!
Every week Rabbi Creditor comes to visit our classroom. For Sukkot, he sang a song of peace with us (Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu). The week before sukkot he taught us the blessing song for studying Torah. Each week he talks with the children about Torah. We also learned the Shehechiyanu. I must say the children were truly adorable singing the Ameins!
Chag Sameach v' Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirley, and William