What senses does the shema and v'ahavta use?
After cruising through the Birkhot HaShachar like the pros they are becoming, the Bnei Mitzvah class turned to the Shema and V'ahavta for recitation practice as well as to look for deeper meanings. Working closely with the text, we noticed that the commands of the shema and the v'ahavta ask for the following to be put in the "on" position:
-eyes (doorposts, children, home)
-hands (doorposts, heart, tefillin)
-mouth (teach your children, say the words)
OK, but why? Why engage all of these senses at the same time? The students considered and said the following:
Erez "Just to get your really involved with all your senses."
Jasper: "G-d wants you to feel a bunch of senses- like- you can feel it."
Noah: "So you can see that G-d gave you all these senses."
Alex: "So you can know and feel what is happening in the prayer."
Students felt that engaging the senses helps you "laser focus" on the prayer, and reminds you that G-d gave you the senses in the first place. Cavod= being grateful, gracious.
VISUAL MIDRASH ASKS: WHAT KIND OF ABRAM IS ABRAM?
Midrash means look in between
This past Tuesday talmidim from the Visual Midrash class pushed between two pieces of text to look "in between" the lines. G-d tells Abram to leave home and promises to bless him and make a great nation. Abram doesn't say anything, and the next thing we know ABRAM IS LEAVING. So what's happened in Abram's head? With his family?
It's what happens behind the scenes
Doing the work of midrash (searching) Talmidim immediately became different versions of Abram. They thought: what would this be like to hear G-d? To be told to leave? What would we tell our families- Sarai and Lot?
The answers were as different as the people who said them:
Solomon/Abram: "Am I going insane? What is that voice?"
Violet/Abram: "This is scary. I'm scared. We better go. We better do what G-d says."
Joon/ Abram: "A great nation? Count me in! I'm gonna be a BIG DEAL! I want all those blessings!"
We each paired with a Sarai and played out the conversation between our Abrams and our wives. What would cause a person to go? What kind of faith would they have to have? Or fear? Or pride?
Next up: What Rashi says about it. (The Torah can be a mystery, midrash gives us history)