Torah records Yahweh's instruction in Deuteronomy 4, "Assemble Me the people, and I will make them hear My words that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children." Torah activities help parents and teachers fulfil their responsibility to train their children to remember the ongoing faithfulness of Yahweh and to inspire the young to live according to His commandments. The parashat, or weekly reading of a specified Torah portion, can form the basis for Sabbath school, bar or bat mitzvah training, or private or home school religious education lessons. The cycle of readings reminds Jews that the Torah is a never-ending circle, just as one must perpetually pursue the holiness contained in the Torah commands.
Make or buy a puzzle that relates to the Torah in general or the week's parashat. Hide the puzzle pieces around the room. Create a list of questions about the lesson or story. Ask the questions and let the person who answers find a puzzle piece. As the class collects correct answers and puzzle pieces, let them try to fit their pieces together until the entire picture is revealed. Talk about how important it is to understand the whole picture that Yahweh is trying to communicate through His Torah counsel rather than taking select portions out of context and getting a distorted view of Yahweh and his commands for a holy life.
Simchat Torah is a Jewish holiday that falls at the end of Sukkot in the month of Tishrei and celebrates the completion of one cycle of reading the Torah and the beginning of the next. Dancing with Torah scrolls is a festive part of this holiday and children can imitate their fathers' Torah celebration by making their own model Torah scrolls. Tape a cardboard tube to each end of a long sheet of paper. Let each child write a special aliyah reading on his scroll and roll the ends up to the middle. Let the children dance with their Torah scrolls to express their joy in Yahweh and following his commands.
Torah Stained Glass
Cut a scene from the week's Torah reading and secure it to a piece of black construction paper. Tape a piece of waxed paper to the back to cover all the cut out space. Arrange crayon shavings or colourful tissue paper over the waxed paper to create a stained glass design. Lay another sheet of waxed paper over the top and cover with a towel. Apply heat with an iron to meld the two sheets of waxed paper together and secure the colours in place. Hang your artwork in a sunny window for an ongoing reminder of the Torah and the life lessons it illustrates.
Torah instructs, "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live." (Deuteronomy 8:3) Highlight the importance of ingesting Torah on a regular basis and storing its commands in your heart and mind by letting the children make an edible Torah snack. Cover a flour tortilla with cream cheese. Use raisins or chocolate chips to create Hebrew Torah letters. Press straight pretzels into opposite edges from top to bottom and roll both edges to the middle. Ask children to recite key Torah verses and then take a bite together. Continue until each child has had a chance to speak Torah for her classmates benefit.
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