In the Library בַּסִּפְרִיָּה 9/29

I was very pleased to hear, even from the little ones, that they understood precisely what was to come Sunday evening — Rosh Hashana, apples & honey, the shofar  and…The Book of Life and Death? I wasn’t sure how focused they were on the more serious aspects of High Holy Days, but I wanted the books we read to give them a taste.

The Kindergarteners read a lovely story called How the Rosh Hashanah Challah Became Round by Sylvia Epstein about a rather boastful boy working in his father’s bakery whose carelessness brings about the rabbinically-approved innovation — a round Rosh Hashanah challah! The entire town learns that a round challah symbolizes the eternal circle of life…and the boy learns not to be quite so boastful.,204,203,200_.jpg

Very few of the 1st/2nd graders seemed to know about tashlich, so I was happy to read Tashlich at Turtle Rock by Susan Schnur. 

Like for so many of our holidays, symbolism is used as a teaching tool; in this case, the items we throw in a moving body of water symbolize the sins or misdeeds we wish to eliminate from our lives through prayer or action. The school will be conducting a field trip to Woods Lake Sunday , October 6 so that everyone can participate in tashlich.

I read a simple folktale to the 3rd/4th graders; though they are beyond picture books, this story Even Higher by I.L. Peretz, retold by Barbara Cohen seems to touch on the most important message of High Holy Days — that the way to be close to G-d is simply to be kind and loving to other people.

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