Nitzanim Asks Questions

Last week, Nitzanim focused on understanding the story of Noah and the ark as it’s written in the Torah. We didn’t allow ourselves the luxury of imaginging details; our drawings were strictly what we could know from the Torah’s words.

This week, we started to notice what the Torah doesn’t tell us about the story, and boy, do we have questions. Nitzanim children have become very sensitive to what’s missing in the Torah text. It’s quite impressive.

Here are a few examples. We spent hours this week (literally! they were very hungry and had a lot to say!) eating kibud (snack) and asking questions about the story.


About Genesis 6:14-16 (” “Make yourself a giant wooden ark, covered inside and outside with tar. Make a window in the roof to let the daylight in, and a door in the side. Make three levels on the inside.”)

  • “How could he fit every single animal onto the ark?”
  • “How did the giraffes fit?” “What about the elephants?”
  • “What animals went on the levels? If one level was for predators, one for prey…but if one level was for creeping things, one for animals, and one for birds, then the predators would eat the prey.”
  • “Where did Noah’s family sleep?”
  • “Where did they put all of the food?”

About Genesis 6:18 (“Go into the ark: you, your sons, and your wife, and your sons’ wives…”)

  • “I wonder if Noah’s mother was alive,” a boy asked on Monday afternoon.
  • “How did the wives feel without their parents coming?” a girl asked on Tuesday afternoon.


About Genesis 6:19 (“Bring into the ark at least one pair of every kind of living thing – birds, animals, and creeping things – to keep them alive together with you and your family.”)

  • “God wants to kill all of the animals. Why did he [God] save a pair?” (The boy confirmed that his question is: why didn’t God wipe out all living things and start again?)
  • “Did the fish need to be saved?”
  • “How did Noah even find all of the different kind of animals? There are these tiny little lizards that live in gardens.” “Did he go to Antarctica and get penguins?” “How did he get two ants, two bees, or two scorpions?”
About Genesis 7:4 (“In seven days I will bring rain upon the earth, for 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe out all life that I have created.”)
  • “Did other people survive the flood?”
  • “How did God know the flood would destroy everything? Floods don’t destroy everything.”

We practiced noticing details by drawing pictures with and without a magnifying glass.


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