Shteelimers Do Self-Portraits

As we wrap up our Boker Tov unit, the Shteelimers are hard at work creating the pieces of art that will combine to make their final Yetzirah project. It has proven to be a long journey with lots of questions, dialog and new exciting processes! For example, this week I was happy to discover that some of the Shteelimers had never done self-portraits before (and they were just as excited to draw them!). It was lovely to see an “experienced portraiture” teach an other Shteelimer (who had never done one before) what exactly a self-portrait is and why we draw them.


After everyone was on board, and the drawing commenced, more questions arose. “Why are we doing self-portraits?” “Yea, what does this have to do with the morning?” Clearly our Shteelimers were curious what connection self-portraits have with Boker Tov. Very exciting to see them hungry for explanation and more depth!

So… Here’s what we said about the connection: “Look at our faces. Some of us are smiling, some look sleepy, some look silly! We all look different. Isn’t it cool that we have a choice of how our face looks? We have a choice of what we can do with our mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. We can choose to smile, to frown, to be happy, to be sad, to be tired, to be excited. And just like that… We can also choose to do kind things with our legs, arms, eyes and fingers. What kind things will you choose to do with your body today?”

Both Shteelim and Nitzanim are playing with and discovering reflection (figuratively and literally). It’s a complex idea, but it’s never too early to learn to ask yourself “What kind of person am I? What kind things can I do today?” We hope this idea will stay with them with the help of their self-portraits acting as a visual representation and daily reminder to do acts of kindness.

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