Spreading The Love-shmini Atzeret - -

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File details:

Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 6-14
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal

Noseh: The lesson of Shmini Atzeret: G-d loves us, and he doesnt want to let go.

Goal: To create an experience for the chanichim to help them understand why we have Shemini Atzeret.


Required Props & Materials

Materials: Chagim + Picture cards, food for foodrest


Resource Contents

Spredin The Love

Peula:

The beauty of this lesson is that it works best with whatever game, story, activity or some other synonym your chanichim like best. The point is to engage in that activity that the kids enjoy, and then cut it short (unless the game is already short; just dont play another round). You can blame it on the late hour, nagging parents, or the shul, but the kids should not see you as the source of the annoyance. They should feel resigned to the unfortunate necessity of cutting short the activity.

Grades 2-6 Chevraya Aleph

Suggestions:

  • Snatch the Kosher Bacon- Two teams line up on opposite ends of the room, and each player from both teams gets a number, or word, so that one player on each team has the same number or word as someone on the other team. Some non-breakable object (like a handkerchief or a hat) is placed between the two teams. When the madrich calls out a number, the players from both teams given that number must run to the middle and try to snatch the object and bring it back to their team without being tagged by the other player. If he gets back, he gets two points. If he gets tagged, the tagging team gets one point. For more excitement, more than 1 player per team can be called up at a time.
  • Bang- Group stands in a circle with one person in the middle. Everyone puts their hand together to form a gun. The person in the middle calls someones name out. The person called has to duck, and the people on either side of him have to turn to each other, point their finger-gun and say BANG!. If the person called doesnt duck, he is out. If he does, whoever was slower to point and say BANG! is out. Whoever is out goes into the middle to call the next person, and then exits the game.

Variation #1: Intead of guns, you can think of something less violent, like pies (you would then say SMUSH! instead of BANG!)

Variation #2: When the person in the middle says someones name, they can choose to call out Bang or Complement. If the leader says, for example Moshe- Bang- then Moshe would duck and the people on either side of him would BANG each other. If the leaders says Moshe- complement then Moshe would duck and the people on either side of him would complement each other (whoevers slower loses).

  • Foodrest not foodfest. Make a big tub of Jello, pudding, ice cream, or something similar. Have many plastic spoons ready, and give everyone juuuust one spoonful. (make sure to have plenty of that food on hand so that they can eat to their hearts content after you give the sicha, and they internalize the lesson.

The important thing to do is to stop the games before theyre over, when the kids really want to continue. Make them whine!

After you have them salivating- spread the group out in the room, and give each one a card with either the name of a chag or a picture connected with one of those chagim. (Cards can be cut out before Shabbat from the page below). Ask them to quickly find the card that matches with their own. Oh no! Once everyones paired up, they find that the madrich forgot to make a card to match shemini atzeret!! Doh!

What picture would they have put for shemini atzeret? What is shemini atzeret about?

Explain that Chazal tell us that G-d expresses his love for us on this day, like a king whose visiting son must go back to the distant land in which he now lives. His father the king has already exchanged greetings, discussed politics and government, played with his grandchildren, hosted whatever cocktail parties are the usual kingly fair for a visiting prince; but with all these things out of the way, he still wants his son to stay, at least one more day, because he loves him apart from all the functions of state. Similarly, G-d wants us to stay in His presence a little longer, just to enjoy our company, so to speak. It is a yom tov specifically without any reason except to have a yom tov.

An analogue to that feeling of longing, of wanting juuuuust a little more, is hard to understand; but we can try to mimic it by thinking about the things we would like just a little more of, and then think: G-d loves us, and He wants us to be close to Him just one more day in the same way that I want more of what I love. In the spirit of Shemini Atzeret, you can then finish whatever game you interrupted.

Grades 7-8 Zach:

Suggestions:

  • Homemade Twister Cut out colored circles as the board (this is great because you can easily make enough circles for both the guys and the girls gameboards) (you can also punish the guys with making them stand on, say, a hot-pink circleJ). If you do not have a spinner, use a die or two, and make a table (i.e., 1 = right foot, 2 = left foot1 = red, 2 = hot pink).
  • The moon is This will drive the chanichim nuts when you stop before they can figure it out. Its best if at least two people in the room know the trick. Tell the kevutzah that sometimes, theres a right way to define things, and a wrong way to define things, and its hard to tell which is which. In this game, we are trying to define the moon. For this game, You, the madrich, are going to give the right definition of what the moon is- their goal is to figure out what youre doing, and do it too, getting it right. Youll give away the first part of it- you need to be holding something. Ask someone for something- a kippa clip, a spoon, a napkin. Thank whoever gave it to you, and, holding it in hand say the moon is a spoon, with two eyes, a nose and a mouth. While youre saying this, use the object to very carefully draw the eyes, nose and mouth in the air. That- you tell the kevutzah- was the correct definition of the moon. Now they need to try. You can also demonstrate an example of the bad definition of the moon. Heres the trick: for it be right, all you need to do is say thank you when you are given the object. After that, youre right, no matter what you say, or what motions you make. BUT DONT MAKE THIS OBVIOUS- make it look like its all about saying certain words in certain ways, or making certain movements. Let a bunch of chanichim have a try to get it right, and then show them the right way again, changing slightly some things you did the last time
  • Bang (See above- if your kids will be able to handle it, you can also do bang-complement-insult with the leader choosing to call out a name plus either bang, complement or insult)

The important thing to do is to stop the games before theyre over, when the kids really want to continue. Make them whine!

Then propose a quick quiz before continuing- a what do we do quiz. You will name a holiday, and the chanichim will have to say what we do on that holiday. Keep this fast paced!

1. Rosh Hashana (Blow Shofar, special tefillah, Tashlich)

2. Yom Kippur ( fast and special tefillah

3. Sukkot (live in Succah, take Arba Minim

4. Chanuka (light candles)

5. Purim (megillah, mishloach manot, matanot levyonim)

6. Pesach (have a seder, eat matzah)

7. Shavuot (stay up learning)

8. Shemini Atzeret (uhum.eat a lot??)

So whats the deal with Shemini Atzeret? Whats it all about?

Chazal tell us that G-d expresses his love for us on this day, like a king whose visiting son must go back to the distant land in which he now lives. His father the king has already exchanged greetings, discussed politics and government, played with his grandchildren, hosted whatever cocktail parties are the usual kingly fair for a visiting prince; but with all these things out of the way, he still wants his son to stay, at least one more day, because he loves him apart from all the functions of state. Similarly, G-d wants us to stay in His presence a little longer, just to enjoy our company, so to speak. It is a yom tov specifically without any reason except to have a yom tov.

An analogue to that feeling of longing, of wanting juuuuust a little more, is hard to understand; but we can try to mimic it by thinking about the things we would like just a little more of, and then say: G-d loves us, and He wants us to be close to Him just one more day in the same way that I want more of what I love. Now, in the spirit of Shemini Atzeret, you can finish the game with them.






Related Resources can be found under:
» All > Jewish Holidays > Simchat Torah
» All > Jewish Holidays > Succot
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