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Apr 28

Cautiously Caring for People Who are Sick

In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), we are exploring the concepts of בִּיקוּר חוֹלִים (bikur cholim – visiting sick people) through pretend play. A few sessions ago, the children shared that visiting people who are sick, “can make the sick person feel better!” Visiting is important, but children were concerned about the visitor getting sick. I pointed out that Jewish people a long time ago talked about this too, including the Rabbis, like the one who wrote the special jewish book called the Shulchan Arukh.

This week, we played a few examples of visiting with someone who is contagious. We pretended to visit from the hallway outside the room (the example from the Shulchan Arukh). We also pretended to try to visit from the front steps and we pretended to visit on zoom.

Pretending to be sick.

I asked the children, “if we can’t visit their room how else might we visit?”

  • You could make them a card or send them flowers.
  • We can call them on the phone.
  • We could send them a card in the mail.
Two images of getting ready to visit someone who is sick.

Then I asked, “is sending something the same as getting a visit?”

  • I think sending a card or if they want flowers is the same. 
  • I’m pretty sure they are similar, but it’s not the same thing.
I made you a feel better soon sign!

We had to end our session there, but the children helped me see which text our exploration should be based in the next session. We’ll play about different examples of visits that help a sick person feel better and how much we think they help!

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