As our Anafimers grow as readers, there are a wealth of exploration opportunities now available. A favorite for getting inside a Torah text and really interpreting what the characters are thinking and feeling in the story is the form of a skit. A couple weeks ago the Anafimers prepared multiple versions of the same scene using expression, gestures and tone of voice to change the meaning. This week we grabbed our story (Genesis 27, in which Rivkah arranges for Ya’akov to get the blessing from his father, Yitzchak) and worked in pairs to annotate and discuss the text.
We then worked with a partner on acting out the scene; getting inside what it really felt like to be blind and wondering whether your son was tricking you!
The comments from our Anafimers are just so thoughtful and varied we needed to share!
One child thought Yitzchak must have been suspicious and confused and Yaakov must have been nervous,
“He wonders why his father asked which son he is and why he wants to touch him. He thinks the father is suspicious from the start, he is nervous and holds up to it [tricking his father].”
Another child had a very different interpretation:
“Yaakov is maybe a little impatient, he really wants to get blessed before the actual Esav comes. Yitzchak purposely curses Esav and gives Yaakov the blessing.”
These exercises in Beit Anafim have been so successful! Our Anafimers are careful readers of the text and thoughtfully empathetic as they wrestle with these stories to make meaning of the text and their own relationship to the events. We can’t wait to see where the Anafimers will take their understandings!