Shorashim Begins to Think About הפקר (Hefker)

As the year starts to wind down, Shorashimers have grown so much throughout each of our themes this year. This week, they have moved into thinking about the idea of הפקר (Hefker-ownerless) in regards to the שמיטה (Shmitah-release) year. We moved into הפקר (Hefker-ownerless) earlier than expected because children really seemed to have grasped the concept of farming and the idea of needing rests for our bodies and the land. הפקר (Hefker-ownerless) deals with the idea that in the שמיטה (Shmitah-release) year, the perennials and wild crops that a farmer has grown do not belong to anyone, even if they were grown in a farmers orchard, and anyone can come eat them. We heard our next part of the Torah text from Exodus 23:10 including that “the poor ones from your people will eat, and the wild animals will eat their leftovers.”

Shorashimers had so many ideas about this during כיבוד (Kibud-snack) that they were anxious to share with each other as they though through how people would come get this food during שמיטה (Shmitah-release).

Boy 1: Like during שמיטה (Shmitah-release) the people who don’t have any money might come eat from the land.

Girl 1: Yeah, if they don’t get any food they might die so we should share during מיטהש (Shmitah-release).

Boy 2: They can come any day during the שמיטה (Shmitah-release) year.

Girl 1: The farmer’s orchard should definitely be for everyone.

Boy 1: If poor people want food and don’t have money, they can also go to the store and get money for free.

Boy 3: There’s like 1500 foods so there’s enough for everyone to come to eat from a farmer’s orchard during שמיטה (Shmitah-release).

Boy 4: But what if you don’t know where people live to tell them? Then we’ll drive around and see if people need the food.

Girl 1: You can say it’s free!

Boy 3: But only for the שמיטה (Shmitah-release) year the land is shared and then it goes back to farmers.

Children also continued to play in our new farming space and included some of the ideas of הפקר (Hefker-ownerless) we had been thinking about during their imaginative play. One five-year-old shared “I am making fruit salad during the שמיטה (Shmitah-release) year with the perennials we didn’t have to replant. I saved this fruit up and the poor people are invited to my house to eat it.” Two other four-year-olds shared that they were “making vegetable soup for people during שמיטה (Shmitah-release) and it’s for everyone to have since the land is shared.”

A five year old makes fruit salad during the שמיטה (Shmitah-release)  year.

A five year old makes fruit salad during the שמיטה (Shmitah-release) year.

Two four year olds make vegetable soup to share.

Two four-year-olds make vegetable soup to share.

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