Wednesday, November 24, 2010

dreaming of angels...

Pertaining to Parasha Vayetzei: Gen. 28:10-32:3, Hosea 12:13-14:10, John 1:19-51
We really enjoyed this parasha! One of the coloring pages from is shown above. I found instructions somewhere to make a night scene by brushing watered down black tempera paint over a picture done with crayons because the paint will not stick to wax and allows the colors to show through. I substituted watered down washable finger paint because that is what I had, but the crayon did come through some. It was a cool project to do. We talked a lot about angels and the fact that no one really knows what they look like, but because small children sometimes need visual aids, I basically drew outlines with wings and called them "angels." :) We sang "Shalom Aleichem" an extra time this week in addition to Friday night (Erev Shabbat), which is sung to G-d's ministering angels. We also made a "ladder" out of Popsicle sticks and glued on fabric "angels" to represent Ya'akov's dream of angels on the "ladder"/"staircase" (which in the book of John is called the "Son of Man," but now my little one knows what a ladder is!)

We also made an "angel tube" which was fun until the toddler put a hole through the wax paper angel. The instructions for that are here: Older children might appreciate it a little more.

This is a good time to talk about "standing stones" for remembrance, just as Ya'akov set one up after his dream. We don't have a lot of stones just lying around in Brooklyn, but I thought it would be fun to find and paint one for the purpose of remembering something special by words and/or pictures.

An important part of this parasha was in Genesis 28:22 when Ya'akov vows to give G-d a tenth of everything he receives. It worked out perfectly that our family had already begun a tzedakah box (charity bank), and my daughter had just received birthday money. So she was able, at her tender age, to put some money in the bank "for Yeshua." I look forward to developing and encouraging her gift of giving. Older children can learn to calculate what ten percent is, but for now we are still learning to count to ten!

I also desire to begin teaching new Hebrew words with each parasha, and for this week, "Beit El" (House of G-d) and "Malach" (angel) stood out as important. It is also crucial to teach our children how to develop their character based on Scriptures, and some praiseworthy characteristics this week were GENEROSITY (in giving to others) and SACRIFICE (in giving to G-d, because we can't truly be generous towards G-d because He owns everything. However, He can be generous to us!) This is also a great time to talk about the significance of remembering what G-d does for us. My family has begun a gratitude journal, which I will expound upon in a later entry.

We are also learning the color red and the letter F. It continually amazes me to see how much my newly-two-year-old daughter can absorb and remember. Children are truly sponges, so don't ever worry that you are trying to teach them too much, especially when it comes to Torah. As long as learning is a fun and positive experience for them, teach them until you have nothing left to teach them (and pay attention to what they will teach you along the way!)

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