Here are the two versions of the flood story we’re using at the Jewish Enrichment Center.
What conversations are you having with your children about the flood story?
All translation is interpretation. So we make our own translations of the Torah’s Hebrew. Here’s what considered when we translated the flood story (Genesis, chapters 6 – 9) for our new theme, קשת (Keshet):
- keeping close to the Torah’s original Hebrew. We want children to start to internalize some of the Torah’s language and rhythm.
- using age-appropriate language and concepts. For example, young children don’t know what the word “regret” means, but they do understand “sad.”
- keeping complexity in the story. Sometimes the Torah’s language isn’t clear, and we want children to experience having to wrestle with the meaning of the words.
Many wonderful picture books are available to help tell the story of the flood, too. Just as we choose our words with intentionality, we also choose our visuals carefully. We want young children to understand the story as the Torah tells it, and through play, we encourage children to discover their own ideas and questions about what the Torah has said. As we get farther into our thematic exploration, we’ll invite children to explore other people’s written and visual interpretations of the story.