On our first week back in Beit Nitzanim (“Buds” for 1st-2nd Grades) we practiced careful listening, a skill we’ll continue working on all year. What details can we hear in the text if we listen so carefully? Can we separate those details out from our own interpretations?
Children listened to a text from שמות יט (Exodus 19) in which the Israelites promise to keep God’s sacred covenant. We spoke about drawing only the images that we heard in the text itself without inventing extra details. Children then drew what they heard: “eagles’ wings,” “God talking to Moshe,” and “God in the mountain.”
Such careful listening to the text prepares children to come to texts with curiosity and an open mind. Similarly, we’ll use our careful listening skills to learn about the members of our קבוצה (kevutzah—group) and to build relationships and safety in our community.
With our ears primed to listen closely both to the text and to our community, we’re off to a magnificent start to our year together.