Today in Nitzanim our friends shared that they are now in their “fairy tale unit” at school. They are learning about things that fairy tales have in common (e.g. they all use the number three: the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears). A moreh mentioned that the number 40 appears several times in the Torah–it is the number of days and nights it rained during the flood, and also the number of years the Jews wandered for in the desert.
The children were asked: is the Torah like a fairy tale?
“It seems like it.”–Girl 1
“I’m thinking it sort of is.”–Boy 1
“If there was 3 in the Torah maybe it would be.”–Boy 2
“Not the same exactly. Something bad happens [in fairy tales].”–Boy 1
“[In fairy tales] there’s a good character and there’s an evil person that hurts the mean person in some way.”–Girl 1
Moreh: So is the story of Purim real or fairy tale?
“More real than fairy tale.”–Girl 1
“That could [actually] happen.”–Boy 3
“The story of Purim didn’t include God.”–Boy 3
“I don’t believe in God.”–Boy 2
“Oh my gosh–you do not believe in God?”–Boy 1
“Nope. I don’t.”–Boy 2
“Some Christian people say God is not important.”–Boy 3
The kids then continued talking about what they knew regarding the Christian faith, and how that is different from being a Jew. This sort of discussion helps build Jewish identity: how does being Jewish make us different from people who are not Jewish? Only by having some sort of idea of what others believe can we understand why it is special to be Jewish.