Mezuzah Hunt

The families of Shalom, Chaverim! (“Welcome, Friends!” for ages 0 – 3 and their grown-ups) are exploring mezuzahs. These are small, decorative boxes affixed to some doorways to designate a Jewish space. Inside are scrolls on which the שְׁמַע (Shema) prayer is written.

Children wrapped themselves up like a scroll. We sang the שְׁמַע (Shema) prayer together and listened to a story about saying it at bedtime. We built houses out of blocks and stuck pictures of mezuzahs onto the doorways. We stuck pictures of mezuzahs onto sticky contact paper on the window. We explored empty mezuzah cases and pictures of different kinds of mezuzahs. Some children decorated their own mezuzah to hang up at home, or decorated a picture of a mezuzah.

The children had the opportunity to manipulate Hebrew letters in the sensory bin. We paid special attention to the letter שׁ (shin), which is on the outside of many mezuzahs. We used three fingers to make a שׁ (shin), rolled three play-dough snakes into a שׁ (shin), and used a cookie cutter to make one out of play-dough. The שׁ (shin) makes the “sh” sound, like at the beginning of שְׁמַע (Shema) and of course שָׁלוֹם חֲבֵרִים (Shalom Chaverim)!

Then we went on a mezuzah hunt! Armed with clipboards and magnifying glasses, we left the classroom to walk around the first floor of the synagogue. Most of the mezuzahs we saw were up high where it was difficult for the children to see them, so their grown-ups picked them up. They noticed something that might be a mezuzah in one of the glass cases. We even stepped outside to include the mezuzah on the main entrance. Ultimately we tallied 13 mezuzahs!

We closed our mezuzah exploration by banging percussion instruments while listening to two fun songs about mezuzahs.  

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