Dear Zayin Parents,
I hope that all of you have managed to stay warm and safe. We have managed to fit in some days of learning, despite a few days off for holidays and severe weather. Here is a recap:
We have been speaking about food in Judaism, especially Kashrut. After gleaning from our students what they already know, we discussed whether it is easy or difficult to keep kosher. We also determined that people have their own levels of kashrut and that it is not all or nothing. Going forward, we will address the question of: “Why keep kosher?”
Our next mitzvah will be ‘Shmirat Habriut,” taking care of oneself. As with everything, Judaism has a lot to say about this and we will look at some of our sources.
‘Why Pray,” is the title of the t’fillah unit which we just began. It became clear to me that this group has many questions about God and prayer. This, I believe is part of being an adolescent. I will do my best to address these. Our upcoming discussion will focus on the reasons people pray and subsequently, the reasons that each of us in our class prays.
Thank you for the privilege of working with your children.
We spent the first few weeks of the new year looking into the importance of a name. First of ourselves, where our names came from and why we were named after specific people or ideas. To the meaning of the names of biblical characters. Then we looked at human-created companies and organizations and the purpose of those names. What story do words like “freedom” or “patriot” convey. With that, we gave a sneak peak at the bigger topic for the next few weeks of abortion.
What is the importance each sides give themselves: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice? Students responded well to the difficult and taboo topic of abortion in class. Looking at what different sects of Judaism have to say, important philosophers, and other religions, we defined ensoulment as the moment a human receives their soul, and thus would be a sin to end that soul.
The coming months will be focused on shorter (one-week topics) as we prepare for Spring (if it ever comes).
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions
Avi and Polly