Saying Slicha [Sorry], from the eyes of Anafim [3rd, 4th, and 5th grade]

Anafim [3rd, 4th, and 5th grade] has been exploring what if feels like and sounds like to say סליחה (slicha; sorry), and why we might need it in our community. They all seem to concur as to the fact that it helps us to “not become enemies and stay good friends” (in the words of one girl) and that it keeps us from “just being in fights all the time” and “never making any new friends” (in the words of another. This, more or less, was how we the educators expected Anafim to react.

But Anafim carries some other ideas about saying סליחה (slicha; sorry) that were a little more surprising.

One theme that came up a lot was that you say סליחה (slicha; sorry) because it’s better to just say it and not get a teacher involved, which would possibly risk getting someone in trouble or cause “a whole business.” In one fourth grader’s words:  “On his face there aren’t feelings [when he has to ask for an apology] because he doesn’t want to start crying because then the teacher would start a whole business”

Another surprise to me was how many children like asking someone to say sorry. A few children said they like standing up to someone, even if it might be hard. They said they really enjoy it. Two third graders in particular, when working on a skit together, said “it’s not scary [to ask for an apology], I just like it. I like standing up to people.” Another suggested that they liked it because “It helps the other person.”


These past few weeks have been full of surprises, but learning the many complexities of סליחה (slicha; sorry)  in the experience of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders has been truly educational. I look forward to seeing how our exploration of it integrates into their already deep and developed relationship with the word  סליחה (slicha; sorry).

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