Big Octopus

Sunday was a GORGEOUS day to explore our new theme בִּיקוּר חוֹלִים (Bikur Cholim – Visiting sick people) together outdoors!

Anafimers are bursting with ideas to share about our text from Talmud Nedarim 40a. In our text, a student of Rabbi Akiva’s gets sick and doesn’t have any visitors. Rabbi Akiva visits the sick student and then tells the other students to help the sick person. The other students visit, sweep the floor, and the student gets better. The sick student tells Rabbi Akiva, “My teacher, you helped me get better.”

Children used mixed media collage to explore the perspective of characters in our text.

One second grader used different gray tones to show that Rabbi Akiva felt “serious” and “helpful.”

A third grader, taking the perspective of the sick student, wondered, “Why did no one visit me?”

Another third grader cut out a giant octopus for the center of her collage. She explained that the sick student was like an octopus stranded on the beach. By visiting and telling the other students to visit, Rabbi Akiva was providing the water for the octopus: “And on this beach… no water because the student has nothing because no one came to visit. Rabbi Akiva is putting water in the beach.”

These fabulous ideas continued into yesterday’s session, too when children offered ideas about why the students might not have visited: “I wouldn’t want to see them in pain or sick” and “What if I mess up?”

Anafim, your excitement is contagious! I am so excited to continue hearing your ideas about בִּיקוּר חוֹלִים (Bikur Cholim – Visiting sick people).

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