Tekiiiiyaaaaa! Do you hear the sound of the shofar? We’ve already been hearing it for a week at Makom Community. Rosh Hashanah is coming up this Monday and Tuesday, and we’ve got some special plans at Makom Community to celebrate. We’ll be enjoying some extra sweet apples-and-honey themed snacks as well as some extra sweet projects and activities.
In the story of Migdal Bavel (the Tower of Babel) God comes down to see what the people are building. Rashi notices this and thinks it’s odd. Why does God need to come down and look? Doesn’t God already know what’s happening? Rashi suggests that the text “intends to teach the judges that they should not proclaim a defendant guilty before they have seen the case and thoroughly understand the situation” (Rashi on Genesis 11:5). We’re going to use a mock trial format to play with the idea of gathering all the evidence before jumping to judgemental conclusions.
Here are some questions you might want to think about with your kiddos:
- Why is it important to gather all of the information about a situation before making a judgement about it?
- How does it feel to have someone judge you without listening to your side of the story?
- What can we do as a family to help make sure that everyone’s story gets heard?
- How can we respond after we realize that we’ve made an unfair judgement based on too little information?
We’re also connecting the story and God’s judgements back to Rosh Hashanah. Another name for the Jewish New Year is Yom HaDin – the Day of Judgement. On Rosh Hashanah God looks at each of us and judges how well we managed to be the best version of ourselves over the past year. This week we’ll explore how the best versions of ourselves look, sound, and feel through a big collage project.
Here are some questions you can ask your kiddos about that:
- Describe the best version of you. What does that person do?
- What makes it easier to be the best version of you? What makes it harder?
- How can we remind or help each other to be the best versions of ourselves?
- What are helpful ways to respond to ourselves and others when we’re not being the best version of ourselves?
Here’s to a sweet year of fair judgments and the best versions of us we can be. From all of us at Makom Community, Shanah Tovah – Happy New Year!