We’re back! And boy, did it sound gorgeous.

Anafim (“Branches”), our 3rd – 5th grade children, started chavrutah (partner text study) again this week.

It was so simple. As if it was the most natural thing in the world.


“Who do we listen to when we do chavrutah?” I asked. Children knew right away: My chavrutah. The Torah. Me. (At least they didn’t roll their eyes at me for what they thought was a VERY obvious question.

“How do we read the text?” I asked. “Out loud!” came a chorus of voices. And it was that simple. We were off. And suddenly the room was filled with the hum of children studying Torah. Stunning. Gorgeous. I wish I’d recorded the sound.

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We filled pages with our questions and ideas. Here are some of the most pressing questions Anafim children had about Genesis 37:1-11, the beginning of Yosef’s (Joseph’s) story. And here’s a link to the translation we’re reading. What questions and ideas do you have about this section?

  • Why does Ya’akov (Jacob) have a favorite son if he has already had bad experiences with his own mom favoring him and then his own brother hating him?
  • Why did Yosef (Joseph) bring just bad reports? Why not some good reports?
  • Maybe his brothers are angry because his father took his brothers’ clothes to make the tunic with lots of colors.
  • Maybe his brothers hated him because he has special dreams. Maybe they don’t get dreams, but they wish they did. Maybe they want them [the dreams], and think he’s special for getting them.
  • Did Yosef (Joseph) like that his brothers hated him? If not, why did he share it [the dream]?
  • If Yosef’s father loved him the most, why did he scold him?



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