November 3, 2022
PARENTS, MOROT and TALMIDIM CONSIDER THIS: HOW IS REST DIFFERENT FROM WORK? "I wish I got paid to rest," lamented one parent
Submitted by our Teaching and Learning correspondents: Morot Alex, Abigale, Elizabeth, Hadassa, Maya and Molly

The Morot and Madrichot don't bring anything to the learning kehilla without studying it first. Last Sunday the M&M's considered questions about work, rest and holiness together. We played a game of "that made me wonder" where one person asks a question about the text and another person in the chevruta says "that made me wonder.." and adds on to the other persons questions with their own.

Morah Alex asked "if the work of creation is done, is there OTHER work G-d does?" Morah Maya added to this "that made me wonder- did G-d HAVE to finish the work by a certain time- was there a deadline?" Which made Morah Molly wonder "so why 7? Why split it up into 7 days?" Morah Abigale added- and what is the difference between the 6th and 7th- the text says "finished the work of creation" on the 7th- was G-d still working?" Madricha Hadassa wondered why not do it all at once?

Morah Alex wondered about how it must have felt to "complete" creation. "I love completing things" she said. "You can't have rest without work!"

"Technically, G-d CREATED rest on the seventh day."
-Jonah, age 6

The conversation was brought to the opening circle with parents and children. We asked the parents: we are studying the 7th day, rest. What is the difference between work and rest for you?

Jen of Tovah and Aviva said "the pace is different." Stuart of Bayla and Jonah said "One is harder than the other." Laura of Noa and Rose added "one is internal, the other external."

Other salient points from parents were:
  • whom you will disappoint when resting or working
  • the level of responsibility
  • rest doesn't take up mental space
  • work CAN be rest at times

What happened when we brought this to the talmidim. Get a load of this!

In the K-2 group with Morot Molly and Maya, Jonah threw in a humdinger:
"Technically G-d created rest on the seventh day." Rose knew the seventh day was called Shabbat, like the number sheva.

When asked what the 7th day LOOKS like, this is what they said:

Freya: resting on the couch, watching the candles burn out
Jonah: watching tv
Flora: taking a nap
Rose: reading
Sage: you are not running around- you are relaxing

What does it feel like?
"Calming," "tired" and "eating."

We thought about how the 7th day is holy. What does holy mean?

Freya: I don't know what that means. (she was not alone- lotsa folks struggled with that word on Sunday). Maayan offered "you feel like you belong?" Freya suggested "like something too big for you to do."

How might have G-d felt after creating everything- that a day of rest was necessary? Freya said "tired." Jonah said "like they were gonna faint."

The K-2 completed their Creation/Genesis mural with their version of the 7th day (rest) . See below.
IN MORAH ALEX'S GROUP... the third and fourth graders zoomed in on Shabbat, and the meaning behind work and rest. We did a brief text study. Students shared what they noticed and what they wondered about after re-reading the last lines of the Creation Story in Beresheit.
Then we brainstormed what work looks like for us, and what it means to relax/reset/rest as 8 and 9 year olds. The students shared their thinking in our whole class discussion, through Think-Pair-Share time, and through their writing and illustrations.

We can't rest, if we don't have work. So here is what the students say work is to them:
Rohin- "Work is homework."
Zevi- "Work is shoveling, raking leaves, feeling bored, and working long hours."
Sylvie- "Work is thinking hard like when you write an essay."
Noa- "Work is focusing on something you don't want to do."
Tova- "Work is chores, like cleaning out the garage."
Evan- "Work is vacuuming."
Elliot- "MCAS!"

And here, is what the students said they like to do when they are able to rest, relax, and reset:
Avi- "Resting is reading, taking a walk, and playing sports."
Sylvie - "I like to bake."
Evan - "I like playing video games, computer games, and watching videos."
Lucy - "I like to go bike riding."
Ezra - "I like to play video games and watch YouTube."
Tova - "Resting for me is going zip-lining, playing games, playing with animals, and snuggling with my mom and reading a book."
Elliot - "Anything but MCAS!"

Next week, we are going to talk about why we think the Jews are commanded to rest and keep Shabbat holy. This work will connect to the text study on the Ten Commandments we did last year!

Below: the 3/4's use all our flexible space!
"If everyday was holy, than no day would be all that holy." -Aviva, 5th grader

The 5th graders completed their exquisite corpse drawings of the 7 days of creation with their version of what REST looks like. Before they did this though, they played "that makes me wonder" with work and rest and what holy might mean.

Julia and Ryan said that holy is something special and important. If the day of rest is special and important, what is rest? What is work?

Gabe loves a day off. What is that to him? "Where I don't have to do anything." Aviva said the day of rest was a reward. That made Julia wonder if you needed the rest to prepare for the NEXT week. Ryan said that work was not paying attention to yourself. "Resting is still work- for your MENTAL self, but it recharges your physical self," he said.

Aviva wrote that work was pain, done to earn money, being productive, more focused and conscious and that it STINKS. She said that rest was resting your brain, that your body "turns off" and reboots, not focusing on anything and that IT'S AWESOME.

Next up: what does our tradition say about the first day of rest?

  • THIS SUNDAY 11/6 10:30AM
JEWISH HOLIDAYS FOR LITTLE HANDS a CJP/TAA program for the pre-K set. Song! Story! Snack! Shabbat Craft! Huzzah! REGISTER HERE

  • Baking club meets 11/20 at 9AM REGISTRATION FULL

  • SATURDAY, December 10



So much to do on a Tuesday! Sign in, think about how you will show cavod. Say blessing over the snack. Eat snack! Talk with friends. Play a few rounds of -ahem- "mafia" a favorite storytelling game from summer camp. THEN: sing the alef bet song! Find your Ivrit coach. Start reading and de-coding out loud.

Now that we have a sense of WHERE our talmidim are with their Hebrew de-coding skills we asked them: what's your goal? Can you finish this book in a year? By Hanukah? What works for you? Where could you challenge your Hebrew de-coding. Elliot showed Adena where in the book it started to get a little hard. Noa picked a page as well with Ariella. Mark made a new progress sheet for Gabe and Ryan. Zev and Avi read out loud to Audrey and Peggy, and had some questions too. Roz and Julia took on the v'ahavta. Sylvie found all the mistakes on the progress page that Morah Phoebe made. Talmidim are now picking a point they want to get to each week so that when they arrive on Tuesday they know the direction they are heading.


Students heard the three Shabbat origin stories out loud, split into groups and tried to tell the same stories in 20 seconds! Can you do it in 10? Yes! How about 5? Sure!

We split into smaller chevruta to add any additional dialogue and props, music and costumes we imagined for each part.

Next up: musicians, actors and artists. Three groups, three stories.

IN SHIRAH, with Morah Abigale Everyone heard/learned the new song - Ki Eshmira
We sang songs about Shabbat - Yiddish song called Shabes and V'shamru.

We talked about Shabbat in the context of the songs.
in V'shamru it says that G-d created everything in 6 days but Jonah reminded us that G-d created rest on the 7th day
The older kids got in depth with the Shabes song, which had space for them to add things to the song. I asked leading questions, which we then put in the song:
What makes you feel relaxed? Sleeping
What resets you after a week of school? Reading
What gives you peace? Eating
What makes you feel connected? FaceTime
What is holy to you? Siblings
Next up? Adon Olam and percussion instruments.
Multi-talented madricha Hadassa draws all our comix now on our welcome boards.

Our own Stuart Siegel (yes! Father of Bayla and Jonah!) will be leading story/circle/snack/song with PreK kids and their caregivers as a regular thing on Sundays. He's gonna try it out on Sunday, November 20 at 10:30AM. If everybody likes it, parents can leave the small people and go get a cup of coffee or maybe do some learning of their own.

Have a grandchild between 2 and 5 years old? Know someone that age who would like to do a little more Jewish on the weekends? Contact Phoebe for more info.
The Sylvia Cohen Family Learning Project
of Temple Ahavat Achim
Director: Phoebe Potts