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Feb 20

Categorizing Objects in the Beit Knesset

This week we began to discuss further in depth the three components of the בית כנסת (Beit Knesset – House of Gathering): בית כנסת (Beit Knesset – House of Gathering), בית מדרש (Beit Midrash – House of Learning), and בית תפילה (Beit Tefilah – House of Prayer).

Photo Feb 11, 5 07 55 PM

We thought about the different objects we’ve found around the Beit Knesset, and categorized the items into the spaces we thought they best fit.  It was surprising how many different ideas our Shorashimers had: we came up with arguments for nearly each item to go into any of the three spaces!

 

For example, take our discussion about the יד (yad – hand/pointer used to read the Torah).

Photo Feb 18, 3 17 49 PM (1)

 

 

Some Shorashimers said it belonged in the בית כנסת (Beit Knesset – House of Gathering) because some people gather to hear a person read from the Torah: which one does with a יד (yad – hand/pointer used to read the Torah).

Some Shorashimers said it belonged in the בית מדרש (Beit Midrash – House of Learning) because some people learn when they read the Torah, which they do with a יד (yad – hand/pointer used to read the Torah).

Other Shorashimers said it belonged in the בית תפילה (Beit Tefilah – House of Prayer) because some people read the Torah when they pray, and they need a יד (yad – hand/pointer used to read the Torah) to do so.

There truly is no right or wrong answer.  We had three examples of each object, so we were easily able to demonstrate that the object could belong in any of the three spaces.  Photo Feb 19, 4 33 00 PM

It’s clear that our Shorashimers each have their own thoughts about the purposes each object in the Beit Knesset serves: whether it’s for gathering (knesset), learning (midrash), or praying (tefilah).  It’s explorations like this that allow us (as adults observing our children’s development, or as children learning to understand his/her place in the world) to see that each person has his/her own ideas.

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