Symbols and Reminders: Embodying Torah

What does it mean to have Torah on our bodies? How do we do that if Torah is words? Uk’shartam l’ot al yadecha v’hayu letotafot bein einecha.  Tie it as a sign on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes”.  This week we are exploring a Jewish practice of physically embodying Torah, not just speaking it! We are learning how to put on tefillin to experience how Jews throughout time have fulfilled this mitzvah (translated as “commandment” but at Makom Community we typically talk about mitzvot as “opportunities for connection”). 

Here is the video we showed about how to lay tefillin if you want to practice at home! Our students enjoyed watching it this week during shulchanot avodah (learning centers). 

 

Check out our big model tefillin we made to help kiddos get a good look! 

We also invited kids to make their own symbols out of model magic, to help them remember to make good choices.  Some symbols kiddos made include: 

  • A person to remind me to treat people with kindness.  
  • A watch that whispers to my mind what the right choice is. 
  • A bracelet that monitors my blood pressure. 
  • A little animal that helps me be calm enough to make good choices. 

We closed out this study of tefillin by exploring how it feels to intentionally use our bodies during T’fillah (prayer, music and movement). 

This week’s exploration of tefillin has been a chance to think about the different ways we can engage with this mitzvah.  When we look at mitzvot like this one as an opportunity to connect,  we love to explore and innovate around ways to make that connection. It’s been so exciting watching your kiddos find ways of connecting that are meaningful to them, while engaging with this ancient Jewish tradition of laying tefillin.