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Posts tagged ‘Hebrew language’

Newest Tech, Oldest Text

The First Paragraph of the Shema as written in...

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“Evyatar” showed up as we were ending Siddur class. I’m not sure what time he expected class to start! Slowly we are adjusting to the new winter schedule. It’s pretty straightforward: All of Morah Elana’s classes start at 3:45 EST. Too bad I had to go and confuse things because I live in Israel, and we switch the clock at a different time. I’m among those who would like to abolish Daylight Savings. But I hear the benefits – my husband says it’s done because of the time by which we need to say the morning Shema prayer. 😉

In Siddur class, we reviewed the idea that the organs in our bodies are very complex. We are so thankful to Hashem that our bodies work the way they are supposed to, so we can live and do everything we need to do in the world, lots of mitzvos. The more science we know, the more we understand the amazing ways Hashem makes the world and how much we have to thank Hashem for.

Elokai Neshama, the next prayer, tells us that our neshama (soul) is tehora (pure). When we wake up each morning we know that Hashem thinks we are good and can make good choices that day. After we hopefully live a lot of years, we die and Hashem takes our neshama all the way back to Hashem. At some time after the moshiach arrives, there will be techiyas hameisim. The people who died will live again. Hashem will return their neshamos into their bodies. At some time after the moshiach arrives, there will be techiyas hameisim. The people who died will live again. Hashem will return their neshamos into their bodies.

“Devorah” mentioned that smoking damages the lungs. We spoke about the mitzva to care for our bodies so that we can live long and do mitzvos. We should not damage our bodies by smoking or using drugs.

In our Book Club, we discussed the story Responsibility, about a Jewish boy who takes care of things at home because his parents are both deaf and mute. discussed One fact we learned about sign language is that words do not always have to be spelled out, but there are hand symbols for different words. A person can choose a symbol to represent his or her name. We used our webcams and the smartboard to try imagining what symbols we might choose to represent our names in sign language.

“Devorah” and “Esti” were a little challenged when it came to sharing space on the board. “Devorah” wanted her boundaries better respected. But at the end of class, she drew a girl standing in the rain, and “Esti” collaborated by drawing an umbrella for the girl in the drawing. 🙂

In Aleph Beis class, Morah Elana explanied that Hebrew is actually a very simple language because all the words sound exactly the way they are spelled. A few students were very surprised that Hebrew is easy – they said it’d difficult! We learned that our wise rabbis from the Gemara teach us that all beginnings are difficult, kol haschalos kashos. But once we learn all the letters and vowels, we will be able to read any word at all in Hebrew with no mistakes!

We were introdiced to the vowel kamatz. We saw how it looks and what sound it makes. We saw examples of the kamatz placed under a letter, and how that changes each letter’s sound.

We continued Peanut Butter and Jelly for Shabbos in Storytime class. Laibel thought it was too hard for the two boys to make all the Shabbos food. Sometimes something seems difficult, but when we try to do it, we see that Hashem helps us and we are able.

Using the board, “Avi”  gave the boys’ mother a bright yellow key to enter her house. “Kobi” drew a baby sister for the boys, all pretty in pink.

Hashem tells us to take care of our bodies – to try to stay healthy. This mitzvah is venishmartem meod lenafshoseichem. Young children should not use a sharp knife. We can help keep ourselves and other people from getting sick by washing our hands with soap and water before we handle food.

Insightful words from Room 613’s principal, Rabbi Yosef Resnick:

 

It strikes me as ironic that we are using the latest in technology to study the oldest text in the world! But then, the Torah has always been ahead of it’s time. So why shouldn’t the methods we use to study it also be? As I occasionally like to remind students, the Torah may seem antiquated to those on “the outside,” but we know that the Torah is actually timeless, and  perhaps might even be described as post-modern

 

Happy Classdays

modehani.jpg

Image by w.wabbit via Flickr

In Siddur Class we learned all about Modeh Ani. We can just discuss and discuss…

Had a brand new group of kids, 8 to 12, in my Book Club. The Happy Birthday? story featured once again, this time on a higher maturity level.  We discussed sensitivity to others according to the Torah, rich vs. poor, reading between the lines, the narrator and courage.

We paused at a suspenseful point and discussed it.

We talked about what choice we would make if we were in the narrator’s situation.

We guessed how to spell announcement, decison and courage and practiced the correct spellings.

In Aleph Beis Class, I didn’t notice much participation from Ariella and Evyatar. The others were very enthusiastic.

We are moving ahead at a brisk pace! We identified all the letters from aleph through yud. We practiced drawing letters aleph through ches. Shuvi pointed out that the ches looks like a sukkah! Names that begin with ches are Chana, Chaim and Chafetz Chaim. Chanukah also begins with a ches. Before long we will be reading Hebrew!

Little Changes

Ra'anana city hall

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Rabbi R., my principal, asks me to submit a bio. I emphasize that I am a freelance writer and link my website where my published and unpublished writing can be found. I quip that my dh and I “mostly” enjoy spending time with our nine wonderful children and son in law.

He changes the order so that what parents read about is my educating two of my own children in Hebrew reading at home. I guess that fits better with the whole homeschooling theme.

And he edits out the “mostly”. 😉

Editors are always deleting my jokes. Like when Yated published my short story Today I Am A Man about my oldest son’s bar mitzvah. I wrote, “It’s Friday night. The men are at shul. I’m home with our younger children and the women that have come to Raanana to celebrate this milestone with me, to affirm my mothering of thirteen years. Or maybe they just like a good party.” The “good party” line didn’t pass. Oy.

I go to prepare my classroom and try uploading PDF files. I’m so excited that I finally figured out how to convert my Word docs to PDF form. (Hint: You start to “print” but the process doesn’t get that far.)

After 5 uploads I get a message that I reached my allotted number for the month. I panic and contact Rabbi R., who sends a “support ticket” to the classroom host. Hmm, this could take a while… but when I retry to upload, my limit has vanished! Thank G-d for small miracles.

I ask Rabbi R. what happens if I have to take off for a few days. He says that he thought about lining up substitute teachers; do I know anyone? That’s a toughie. Who is all technologically prepared and willing to teach Torah studies in a virtual classroom on short notice?