Opening up Shabbat

Oh, the beginning of a new theme is so exciting!

In ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade children), we opened up our שבת (Shabbat) theme with a big brainstorm: the children compiled a list of all the facts they knew or thought about שבת (Shabbat), and then, all of the things they wondered about שבת (Shabbat).

Then, they explored their first ideas using drawing, collage, or writing, and finished by noticing details about their own and each others’ work.

To give you a sense of what they’re thinking about, here are some of the facts and wonderings they shared:

-Drink grape juice/wine, eat challah

-Light two candles

-some people say prayers

-starts Friday at sundown, ends on Saturday when you see the first three stars

-A time for rest

-some people have dinner with family and friends

-Some people go to services

-it’s connected to the story of God creating the world in 7 days


-Why does it have to be on Friday-Saturday?

-why drink wine/grape juice?

-Why light 2 candles?

-If the whole point is to rest, why go to all the work of buying special foods and putting on a big dinner?

-If you don’t believe the story about creating the world in 7 days is true, why celebrate שבת (Shabbat) at all?

-Does it still count as שבת (Shabbat) if you celebrate it in ways that aren’t traditional?


Wow, right? I can’t wait to see where some of these questions will lead!



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