Nitzanim Explore Siddurim

This week, Nitzanimers ventured down to the Rodfei Zedek sanctuary to explore סידורים (siddurim), and, more specifically, the text of Psalm 150.

We found where the סידורים (siddurim) are kept outside of the sanctuary, and each child got his or her own סידור (siddur) to bring into the room. When we went up to sit on the בימה (bimah), first we learned that a סידור (siddur) is a book of Jewish prayers. We took a few minutes to look through the סידור (siddur) independently, and reported what we noticed about how it feels and looks:

Two children noticed that Hebrew text was found on the right side, and English was found on the left. Another child noticed that the סידור (siddur) was heavy, but the pages in it were “really thin.” One child noticed immediately noticed “I found the first letter of the aleph bet!” and another first spotted a lamed, a letter in their שם (shem – name).

We found פְסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָא (pesukei d’zimra) in the middle of the סידור (siddur), and found Psalm 150 on page 100! I talked to Nitzanim about פְסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָא (pesukei d’zimra) being the “warm up section” of the morning prayers. Each child had his or her own copy of the page of Psalm 150, with הַלֵל (hallel) written at the top. We got in partners to see how many times we could find the word הַלֵל (hallel) in Psalm 150. While we searched and circled, we listened to the musical recordings of this Psalm in the background to connect what we were looking at to the musical expressions of הַלֵל (hallel) that Nitzanim has already explored through יצירה (yetzirah — creativity) and dance.

I was impressed with Nitzanim kindergarteners’ inquisitiveness and attention to detail as we looked through the סידור (siddur) and Psalm 150, and was excited to connect some the music-based, narrative and conversation-based explorations we’ve been doing to a physical text Nitzanimers could touch and see. Feel free to ask your Nitzanim child about what they noticed while exploring סידורים (siddurim) in the sanctuary!

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