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May 02

Building Flat

In Beit Nitzanim, children are using small natural materials to imagine what Judaism would have looked like in Jerusalem at the time the Second Temple still stood. We’re using these materials to “build flat,” or design a scene that helps us really see the details in the Torah texts we’re exploring during כיבוד (kibud—snack).

We’ve imagined what it would have looked like at the Temple to offer sacrifices.

Priest sacrificing a bull.

Priest sacrificing a bull.

And we’ve imagined what it would have looked like at the Temple on Yom Kippur when the כהן הגדול (kohen hagdol—High priest) offered special sacrifices.

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A scene at the temple… “carpet around [because this is] holy ground. These are the seats for people that watch. [These are] the brick walls. Silver ring on top to make it special. We made where the animals get placed. Seat carpet for people who are hurt. [A] Bull and sheep. Overnight sacrificing place [for the fat to burn through the night]. Reserve of sticks if fire gets low. Metal looks nice. 3 pillars.”

We’ve even imagined what it would have looked like at the Temple for Judeans to bring their ביכורים (bikkurim—first fruits) to the Temple between Shavuot and Sukkot.

The Israelites are bringing bikkurim to the Temple and the Levites are guarding.

The Israelites are bringing bikkurim to the Temple and the Levites are guarding.

We’ve been “building flat” with a partner, which helps children practice their collaboration skills to ensure that each child’s ideas are incorporated into the scene. A second perspective also helps children clarify and strengthen their own understanding of the content.

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Last week, when I asked children to share with Shorashim (“Roots” for nursery children) something they were proud of from their day, children mentioned, “I’m proud of our ideas from building” and “I’m proud that we made two ideas into one.”

Wow, Nitzanim, what a beautiful community we’ve built this year!

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