Category: Continuity through Traditions, Symbols, Prayers, & Behaviors
How are symbols used in celebrations and holidays?
6 Unit(s), 17 Resource(s), 1 Teaching Tool(s)
Purim: Customs and Values
Unit on values related to Purim and how they relate to the customs of this holiday
What is Chanukah About?
What is the historical story of Chanukah? This unit addresses the different stories of Chanukah and how they have influenced the character of the holiday.
This unit is about Chanukah candles: how and why they are lit, the symbolic significance of lighting candles and the idea of spreading light and its cultural and personal significance.
Passover: Story of the Holiday
This unit deals with the multifaceted story and diverse faces of the Passover holiday, and focuses on the idea of telling the exodus story and its significance.
Passover: Seder Night and the Haggadah
This unit discusses the various aspects of Seder night – the structure of the Haggadah, the Seder plate, and selected texts from the Maggid section.
Shabbat – Rituals
This unit on Shabbat deals with the various ceremonies and rituals traditionally performed over the course of Shabbat – including candle lighting, kiddush (the blessing over the wine) and havdalah (the ceremony differentiating between Shabbat and the rest of the week).
Sitting in the sukkah (also referred to as “settling” or “dwelling” in the sukkah) is the main commandment on the holiday of Sukkot. In this resource, we will learn about the sukkah and will become familiar with its symbolism and the values learned from it.
Hidden and Revealed: Central Motifs of Purim
This resource deals with the motifs of things that are hidden and those that are visible in Megillat Esther (The Scroll of Esther) and how these motifs are expressed on Purim through costumes and masks.
Megillat Esther: Story of the Holiday
In this resource, we will learn about Megillat Esther and the holiday of Purim. We will address the main themes that are found in Megillat Esther and reflected in the customs of the holiday, such as happiness, “Ve-Nahafokh Hu” (all upside down or topsy turvy), concealment and mutual responsibility.
Chanukah – The Story of the Holiday
We will become familiar with the Chanukah story and the customs associated with the holiday. We will discuss what we can learn from the story and how it can serve as a source of inspiration in our lives today.
First Fruits (Bikurim)
The mitzvah of bringing bikurim (first fruits) to the Holy Temple is referred to in the Torah as an act of gratitude to God for bringing us to the land of Israel. In this resource, we will discuss the importance of being grateful for the good things in our lives, the various ways in which we can express our feelings of gratitude, and the connection between gratitude and the first fruits.
Light in Art: Monet – The Painter of Light
Light influences and determines the way we see the world, particularly in terms of colors. This is evident in the art of the Impressionist school, including the works of the painter Claude Monet. We will examine how this perspective is connected to various ideas in Jewish tradition.
Light – A Symbol of Good
This unit discusses light as a symbol of good in the context of the Chanukah story.
Light and Darkness
This resource discusses the importance of light in our lives and in the world and the use of light as a metaphor for good versus darkness as a metaphor for evil, examining these assumptions.
Sukkah and Memory
In this unit, we’ll learn about the roles and importance of holiday symbols, including their significance on the personal and family level and their significance for the collective memory of the Jewish people, with an emphasis on the sukkah.
Sukkot / Eliahou Eric Bokobza
Eliahou Eric Bokobza’s piece entitled “Sukkot” evokes thoughts about the nature of permanence and ephemerality in Jewish life.
Ma Nishtana – the Four Questions
In this resource, we will learn about the Four Questions section of the Haggadah. We will become familiar with the examples that appear in the text and explore the significance of asking questions on Seder night.
The Seder Plate
In this resource we will get to know the Seder plate and the role it plays in telling the story of Passover on Seder Night.
Havdalah – Saying Good-Bye to Shabbat
We’ll learn about the havdalah ceremony and its different components.
Feeling Shabbat – People Creating Holiness
We will use a Hassidic story to discuss the power of symbols and human actions to create an atmosphere of Shabbat.
A Happy and Sweet Year – The Signs for Rosh Hashanah
We will learn the blessings said for the special foods (the simanim, or signs) eaten on Rosh Hashanah, and their meanings.
Tashlich – An External Act Symbolizing an Internal Process
On the custom of Tashlich carried out on Rosh Hashana, in which we symbolically cast off our negative behaviors and actions.
Blowing the Shofar
On the origins and meanings of the mitzva of hearing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.