Tales from the Torah
The intention of the material is to teach our children that all the world’s religions support a consistent message about the truth of who we are. Stories from Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and contemporary authors support the same underlying messages and values.
The focus of this curriculum is to share these timeless truths that support a life of peace, happiness and creativity.
This month’s lessons come from the Torah, the Jewish sacred text. The Torah contains the first five books of the Biblical Hebrew.
Week #1: Rejoice: Story: The 5 books of the Torah. A Metaphysical Interpretation
Week #2: Loving Kindness: Story: Jonah and the Whale
Week #3: Oneness:Story: Shofar in the High Seas ... Rosh Hashanah - The Jewish New Year
Week #4: Illumination: Story: The 10 Commandments. A Metaphysical Interpretation
Each week is designed to be completed in an hour. The primary lesson and craft is for Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The advanced material is designed for the older ages, 4th and 5th grade and above, to understand the lesson more deeply.
The third activity, for Tweens and Teens, is designed to understand how the message of the lesson impacts each of their lives.
Main Message: The Torah is the foundation of a child’s Jewish education. It is read publicly every year. Just as we typically start our traditional schooling in the fall, Jewish children complete the cycle of their Torah teachings holiday Simchat Torah— this year beginning on October 15th. Many confirmation ceremonies or ceremonies marking the beginning of a child's Jewish education are held at this time.
Simchat Torah celebrates the annual completion of the Torah readings and is a time of great celebration. There are processions around the synagogue carrying Torah scrolls and plenty of high-spirited singing and dancing in the synagogue with the Torahs. As many people as possible are given the honor of an aliyah (reciting a blessing over the Torah reading); in fact, even children are called for an aliyah blessing on Simchat Torah. In addition, as many people as possible are given the honor of carrying a Torah scroll in these processions. Children do not carry the scrolls (they are much too heavy!), but often follow the procession around the synagogue, sometimes carrying small toy Torahs (stuffed plush toys or paper scrolls).
- The Torah is a sacred book full of lessons on life
- It is a collection of Lessons delivered through Moses
Week #2: Loving Kindness
Main Message: The Jewish Religion celebrates Yom Kipper on October 4 this year. The story of Jonah and the Whale is shared during Yom Kipper to illustrate God’s loving kindness. The book of Jonah is read every year, in its original Hebrew and in its entirety, on Yom Kipper - Day of Atonement, as the afternoon prayer. In the story, Jonah runs away from his responsibilities and is washed into the sea. He is swallowed by a whale and spends 3 days and 3 nights inside the whale’s belly. After this time, he knows he must ask God for forgiveness for running away and the fish returns him to shore.
- The book of Jonah highlights God’s patience and loving kindness
- We are always given a second chance.
Week #3: Oneness: Rosh Hashanah
Main Message: The Jewish Religion celebrates Rosh Hashanah September 25 this year. It is a day to celebrate the start of the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The shofar is a simple ram’s horn that Jews are commanded to sound on the solemn days of the New Year. It reminds people of the Jewish faith that the power of their hearts is more powerful than any event in their lives. They are reminded that they are meant to live a good and holy life. People of the Jewish faith show their gratitude to god by obeying His commandments.
- Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a day Jews are reminded to live a good and holy life.
- The Shofar is a simple Ram’s horn the sounds on Holy Holidays to lift the hearts of those of Jewish faith.
Week #4: Illumination: The 10 Commandments – Metaphysical Interpretation
Main Message: There are two ways to look at the Ten Commandments: The biblical story, and the meaning behind the story. The Commandments are a study of ourselves: the first five reflect the inner world; spiritual world; world of thought; consciousness; getting our thought correct. The second five refer to the outer world; objective side of life; our relationships with each other, how thought works, the external plane of life.
- Moses brought the Ten Commandments to the Israelites.
- The commandments are a study of ourselves
- (For the teens and tweens) As soon as we can change our consciousness through prayer, then we have the key to life.