CHAPTER ONE

HAGEI TISHRI

 

Rosh Hashannah (The New Year), Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) and Succot (The Festival of Booths) are grouped together for two reasons. Firstly, their proximity to each other usually means that as teachers we do not devote time to each festival. Secondly, the month of Tishri corresponds to the beginning of the school year, which determines to what extent we can include these holidays as subject matter. At the time of writing Rosh Hashannah falls one week after returning to school. In some schools the English programme has not started or has not been finalized. A third grade child just starting English is limited in what can be done. Nevertheless, these three festivals are rich in lexical items, rituals and meaning. It is important that you read the introduction in order to put the activities in their correct framework.

 

A. ROSH HASHANNAH THE NEW YEAR

 

1 BACKGROUND

Rosh Hashannah is the Jewish New Year Festival. It begins on the first day of the Hebrew month Tishri and lasts two days. It celebrates the creation of the world and G-d's rule over it. On this day all mankind is judged. In the Bible Rosh Hashannah (Leviticus 23:24-25) is mentioned as a day of remembrance and as a day of the sounding of the rams horn.

 

There are three different names for this festival, each reflecting a different strand of meaning and observance. The theme of remembrance is recalled in the name Yom Hazikaron (The Day of Remembering). According to tradition, the Jewish people are judged on this day. Hence we also have the name Yom Hadin (The Day of Judgement). The chief symbol is the shofar, a ram's horn that is sounded during the holiday worship. This symbol is embedded in the name Yom Truah -The Day of Blowing the Shofar.

 

 

Legend tells us that the blast of the shofar reaches G-ds ears and reminds Him to open the Book of Life in which he records his judgement based on our lives during the past year. Everyones name is written down with a decision of what will happen to him in the coming year. The process takes ten days. Judgement begins on Rosh Hashannah and is completed (sealed) on Yom Kippur. This legend has given rise to the custom of sending greeting cards and wishing each other the wish May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year.

 

The festival is marked by attendance at synagogue services and characteristic foods. The prayer services emphasize the themes of judgement, penitence, and forgiveness. Three special groups of prayers are recited during the holiday. The first group reminds the Jewish people that G-d rules the world. The second group tells them that G-d responds to the sound of the shofar, and the third group reminds them that He remembers people's deeds.

 

Characteristic foods eaten on this holiday include pomegranates, which are blessed as the first fruits of the New Year. Bread and apples are dipped in honey so one may have a sweet year. Tongue or fish heads are served to mark the head of the year which is a direct translation of the Hebrew name Rosh Hashannah.

 

Rosh Hashannah is the beginning of the Yamim Noraim, the Ten Days of Atonement. The themes of judgement, repentance and prayer are carried through these days and culminate at the next festival called Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). These two holidays are often referred to as the High Holidays. They are the most sacred days of the Jewish year.

 

It is important that you read the introduction in order to put the activities that follow in their correct framework.

 

2 LEXICAL ITEMS

 

apple and honey, Book of Life, custom, greeting cards, happy new year, head of a fish, honey cake, pomegranate, prayer, rams horn (shofar), synagogue, to blow, to dip, to greet, to pray, wish.

 

Ideas for different levels

Grade 4: Rosh Hashannah word search together with word bank.

Grade 4/5: Rosh Hashannah word search together with word bank and sentence clues. The bonus can be given with or without the word bank. You can have the pupils use each colour in a sentence. Each sentence can relate to the holiday.

Grade 4/5/6: Verb search. This can be given with or without the word bank.

Grade 5/6: New Year word search. Have pupils find words related to the holiday and use them in sentences. This can be done with or without the word bank.

 

 

Activity Rosh Hashannah Verb Search

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions :

There are 6 verbs which are related

to the new year. Find them and

complete the phrases.

On Rosh Hashanna we

A

E

Y

R

Y

1. __________ the rams horn.

2. __________ apple in honey.

3. __________ in the synagogue.

4. __________ honey cake.

5. __________ greeting cards.

6. __________ each other a Happy New Year.

B

L

O

W

A

P

P

I

D

P

W

S

E

N

D

H

Y

A

R

P

A

E

T

N

H

There are 13 letters not used. Can you fit them into the following spaces?

 

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

 

 

(Word bank: eat, pray, dip, send, blow, wish)

Activity Rosh Hashannah Word Search

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions :

There are 8 things all related to

title.

 

H

C

A

B

C

R

D

C

E

O

F

B

W

A

P

P

L

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A

H

R

G

R

H

R

P

J

K

D

L

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M

A

N

O

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D

Q

P

I

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K

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P

N

O

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T

R

H

S

Y

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N

O

H

G

T

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Z

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Y

X

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T

V

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U

E

H

S

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F

A

B

E

S

C

D

M

L

G

P

W

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B

W

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N

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B

L

A

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K

H

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Y

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K

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Word Bank: apple, card, carrots, fish, happy new year, honey,

rams horn, wish.

 

Use your answers to complete these sentences about things you do on Rosh Hashannah.

 

1.      I send you a _____________ .

2.      I _____________ you a __________________________ .

3.      We eat _____________ and _____________ .

4.      We eat the head of a _____________ .

5.      We eat sweet _____________ .

6.      We hear the __________________ .

 

BONUS : There are 10 colours hidden in the word search. How many can you find?

 

(Colours to find : black, blue, brown, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, white)

Activity New Year Word Search

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions :

There are 12 things all related to the

title.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

 

X L G B Q R W R A B E D C G Q

A P P L E W V F O T R S S C E

L Z K Y C U A O E A L T Y Z E

C J A E V W K F C F L O U P T

H R Z Y G O B G D I M R X O S

P S G B F X N L O S C R J M O

N U Q L A I Y X E H G A B E L

X R I G T T M T A Q J C T G H

H F O E U G O G A N Y S G R W

E O E H A P P Y N E W Y E A R

R R N Q S C O S H I I P P N Q

G F L E D M K E S Z L V B A D

A G L G Y V A H T P D K I T C

S B H V T Q P R W U E I V E P

D Q S A S M Q Y F M I D Z G C



 

Word bank: apple, Book of Life, carrots, fish, greeting card, Happy New

Year, honey, pomegranate, prayer, rams horn, synagogue,

wish.

3 SONGS

A Year has Passed

A year has passed, a year will come,

Let us raise our hands to heaven

And pray that health and happiness

To all of us be given.

A good New year, a good New Year.

 

When Rosh Hashannah Comes Marching In

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

To the synagogue well go.

We will hear the shofar blow.

 

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

We will send a wish to greet you,

May your wishes all come true.

 

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

We will eat an apple and honey,

We will have a sweet New Year.

 

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

We will eat pomegranate seeds,

To symbolize our many good deeds.

 

New Year's Day (Tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb.")

 

The old year's coming to an end,

To an end, to an end.

Now a new year will begin.

Happy New Year's Day!

4 ACTIVITIES

 

Before you start..

** Grade 3 pupils are just beginning English and so we are limited in activities that are both content-based and have language learning applicability. Two activities which can be used are songs and card making.

**For grade 4 pupils their English should be at the stage of beginning reading. For many they are still recalling what they learnt in grade 3. A suitable activitiy is a listening exercise based on a song. Vocabulary development activities are also good.

 

Title: Card making.

Level: Grade 3.

Materials: Pictures or examples of an apple, a jar of honey, a shofar,

a greeting card. Worksheet with pictures of shofar, apple, jar of honey and the greeting HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Aims:

-to familiarize the pupils with the sound of the language.

-to orally introduce some lexical items connected to the festival (apple, shofar, honey.)

Description:

Take a sheet of paper or card and demonstrate how to fold the card. By watching and following the teacher the pupils will learn to follow directions and learn some simple words in English. Say to the pupils Fold your paper like this The pupils copy the teacher.

Then present the pupils with some pictures each time saying This is an apple. This is a shofar. This is honey. Have the pupils repeat the sentences after you.

Each pupil will receive a sheet with the three items and the greeting HAPPY NEW YEAR. They choose one and stick it on their card. Again the teacher demonstrates and the pupils follow. Cut out one of these. Stick it on the card. On the inside of the card the pupils cut out a greeting and stick it on. Present the greeting HAPPY NEW YEAR. Have them cut it out and stick it in.

 

Title: Song Cloze.

Level: Grade 4.

Materials: Song words, Cloze.

Aims:

-to familiarize the pupils with the sound of the language.

-to use and practise listening skills (listening for a particular word.)

Description:

The pupils first listen to the song (the teacher can either sing or use a tape).

The teacher hands out a copy of the song with several words missing.

The song is read through with the words Rosh Hashannah used every time there is a blank. (The method here is dependent on the level of reading in the class. Individual pupils can be called on, or the teacher can read while the pupils follow. Whenever reading is done aloud the pupils must follow in order to reinforce, improve and develop their sight recognition and word-sound correspondence. You can explain to the pupils why they are required to listen and carefully follow, thus contributing to their metacognitive knowledge of language learning.)

The pupils listen once more to the song and fill in the missing words.

The teacher corrects.

The song is sung together.

 

Activity Lets sing a Rosh Hashannah song.

(Listen to the song and fill in the missing words. Every space is one letter)

When Rosh Hashannah comes Marching In

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

To the synagogue well go.

We will hear the _ _ _ _ _ _ blow.

 

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

We will send a _ _ _ _ to greet you,

May your wishes all come true.

 

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

We will eat an _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _,

We will have a sweet New Year.

 

When Rosh Hashannah comes marching in (x2)

We will eat pomegranate _ _ _ _ _,

To symbolize our many good deeds.

 

 

Title: Brainstorming.

Level: Grade 5/6

Materials: Blackboard and chalk, pictures of lexical items, card with the name of the festival.

Aims:

-to revise lexical items associated with the festival.

-to have students interact together and build a word-map on the blackboard.

Description:

Teacher introduces subject and writes it on the board. Some ideas for introducing the subject include : a) Play hangman, b) Ask some questions such as What is the first holiday of the Jewish year? Why arent we coming to school next Friday?, c) Hold up a card with the festival written on it and stick it on the blackboard.

Teacher asks pupils for lexical items connected to the festival.

As pupils contribute items, the teacher writes them on the blackboard.

At the end of the activity have the pupils repeat the items and check that they understand them.

Optional have the pupils copy the brainstorming into their portfolios.

 

Title: Customs arrangement.

Level: Grade 5/6.

Materials: Word chunks, worksheet (Scrambled sentences for Rosh Hashannah.)

Aims:

-to practise both orally and in writing language structures of a sentence.

-to familiarize pupils with customs connected to the holiday.

Description:

Teacher tells the pupils that we are going to play a game in which everyone will participate.

The pupils will be asked to come up to the blackboard and arrange the word chunks into a sentence. (See word chunks below.)

Whenever a sentence is correctly arranged, ask the whole class to repeat the sentence. Check that the pupils understand what they read.

Each pupil receives a sheet of scrambled sentences and has to rearrange them.

They can illustrate their work and place it in their portfolio.

 

Word chunks (These can be put on blackboard in advance, or each student can receive a group to rearrange and stick on blackboard.)

 

dip

in

honey

we

apples

of

a fish

we

eat

the head

blow

we

rams

the

horn

go

synagogue

to

we

the

greeting

send

we

cards

 

 

 

 

Activity SCRAMBLED SENTENCES FOR ROSH HASHANNAH.

What do you do on Rosh Hashannah? Find out by rearranging the following groups of words into correct English sentences. Dont forget a capital letter and a full stop. Write the sentences neatly.

 

1.                          dip / in / honey / we / apples

2.                         of / fish / a / we / eat / head / the

3.                         blow / we / rams / the / horn

4.                         pray / our / forgive / G-d / we / to / sins / to

5.                         go / synagogue / we / to / the

6.                         eat / we / pomegranate / seeds

7.                         greeting / our / and / send / friends / we / cards / family / to

 

 

Title: Resolutions a writing activity.

Level: Grade 6.

Materials: pen and paper.

Aims:

-to practise writing lists.

-to practise alphabetization skills.

Description:

Start this activity by writing on the blackboard the following five words-

reflection, atonement, resolution, positive, negative- and have the pupils arrange and copy them in alphabetical order.

Explain to the pupils that Rosh Hashannah is a time of reflection; that we often make resolutions; sometimes we make a positive resolution like I will study harder.; and sometimes we make a negative resolution like I will not annoy my little sister.

Draw a chart on the blackboard and take 2-3 examples from the class. Write them in the chart.

 

New Year resolutions

Positive (+ )

 

Negative (-)

 

Have the pupils copy the chart and add 3-5 resolutions.

Optional In pairs have the pupils share what they have written.

Place chart in portfolio.

RETURN TO CONTENTS

B. YOM KIPPUR - THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

 

1 BACKGROUND

Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and the most important and sacred Jewish holy day. Observed on the 10th day of Tishri, it concludes the 10 days of repentance that began with Rosh Hashannah. The Biblical source for the laws relating to this day are found in Leviticus 16, 23:26-32, 25:9 and Numbers 29:7-11.

 

Today the festival is marked by fasting, prayer and meditation. Its purpose is to purify the individual and community by causing people to forgive the sins of others and by repenting one's own sins against G-d. Yom Kippur is also the day on which an individuals fate for the ensuing year is believed to be sealed.

 

Before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the High Priest performed a sacrificial ceremony that concluded with the death of a scapegoat. During the ritual the high priest placed his hands upon a goat as he confessed the peoples sins; the goat was then taken into the wilderness and thrown over a cliff. This act was symbolic of expiation and G-ds forgiveness. The modern day kapporoth ceremony has its roots in this temple ceremony. Ultra-religious Jews use a chicken for the kapporoth ceremony while observant Jews use money. The chicken or money is swung around the head while prayers are said. At the end the chicken is slaughtered and given as charity to people who cannot afford to buy food. Likewise the money is donated to charity.

 

The day is observed mainly through synagogue worship, beginning with the Kol Nidre" service. This service, the evening service, takes its name from the first prayer we say which is Kol Nidre ("all Vows"). The day itself consists of four services early morning, second or additional, afternoon and concluding services. The prayer is nearly unbroken and the mood is solemn. In the afternoon service the story of Jonah and the Whale is read.

 

The Story of Jonah

 

A long time ago, the people who lived in the city of Nineveh were making G-d very unhappy. They had forgotten about G-d and what He wanted them to do. So G-d spoke to Jonah, a man from Israel. G-d told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people there that G-d was going to punish them for their wicked ways.

 

Jonah was afraid. He did not want to make the long trip to Nineveh. The people of Nineveh were enemies of the people of Israel. Jonah decided to hide. He packed some food and money and started out for Joppa, a busy city far from Nineveh which today is known as Jaffa. There he took a ship across the sea to Tarshish. Jonah paid for his travel and got on the ship. He went into the ship's cabin and fell asleep.

 

A short time later, the ship left Joppa. Once the ship was out to sea, the weather changed greatly. A large storm swept over the sea. It looked like the ship was going to break up. The frightened sailors threw the ship's cargo into the sea. They hoped that a lighter ship would make it through the storm. But the danger did not go away. Each man prayed to his own god, but the storm continued.

 

The captain woke Jonah. Pray to your G-d so that he might stop the storm and save us." Jonah told them about his G-d who is Lord over all the Earth and Heaven. He told them that he was running away from G-d and if they threw him overboard, the storm would stop. The men did not want to hurt Jonah, but they were afraid for their lives so they threw Jonah into the sea.

 

 

At once the storm stopped.

 

G-d sent a big whale to swallow Jonah. He lived in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. During this time, Jonah prayed to G-d and told Him he was sorry for running away. G-d heard Jonah's prayers and told the whale to swim close to shore. There, it opened its mouth and tossed Jonah onto dry land.

 

Jonah thanked G-d for saving him. G-d again told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people to turn from their bad ways. This time Jonah did what G-d asked. Jonah told the people of Nineveh that if they did not stop doing bad things G-d would destroy their city. The people listened and were sorry for doing bad things. The people of Nineveh prayed to G-d and asked Him to forgive them. They promised G-d that they would be good again. G-d heard the people's prayers and forgave them. He saved their city. The people were happy.

 

It is important that you read the introduction in order to put the activities that follow in their correct framework.

 

 

 

2 LEXICAL ITEMS

 

atonement, fast, forgiveness, Jonah and the whale, sin, synagogue, white.

 

Ideas for different levels

Grade 4: Yom Kippur word search together with word bank.

Grade 5: Yom Kippur word search Find words related to Yom Kippur and use them in sentences.

Grade 6: Yom Kippur word search and cloze.

 

Word bank: atonement, fast, forgiveness, Jonah, leather, pray, sins, whale, white, Yom Kippur.

 

 

Activity Yom Kippur Word Search

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions :

There are 10 things all related to the

title.

 

YOM KIPPUR

 

 

B Z S R F M L J W F F R

N F Q N U H Z F Y O V E

K A X Y A P S K R J B H

U S I N N U P G H Y P T

D T O U X S I I F S E A

Y J N U Y V V J K Y T E

T N E M E N O T A M P L

Z T O N W H A L E R O S

V E E W L H U D A T S Y

N S N I S K I Y O S Q D

S K I J J R Y T S X M F

U H A G J X H Y E S U B



Activity Cloze

 

Use the words you found in the word search to complete the following paragraph.

 

On ____________ (the day of ____________) we do not eat or drink. We ____________. We go to the synagogue and ____________. We ask for ____________ for our ____________. We hear the story of ____________ and the ____________. Many people do not wear ____________ shoes. Many people wear ____________ clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers to cloze:

 

On Yom Kippur (the day of Atonement) we do not eat or drink. We fast. We go to the synagogue and pray. We ask for forgiveness for our sins. We hear the story of Jonah and the Whale. Many people do not wear leather shoes. Many people wear white clothes.

 

 

3 SONGS

A Song for Yom Kippur (Tune "We wish you a merry Xmas")

We wish you a good year (x 3)

We wish you a good year

And a very easy fast!

4 ACTIVITIES

 

Title: Story telling.

Level: Grades 3/4.

Materials: Story of Jonah and the Whale (See background section.)

Aims:

-to familiarize the pupils with the story.

-to have the pupils practise their listening skills.

Description:

Begin by eliciting and providing some background information about the story. (Who is the story about? Where do we find the story? When do we read the story?)

[The story of Jonah is recorded in the Bible. It is read on Yom Kippur during the afternoon services. The entire Book of Jonah is read. It relates how Jonah was commanded by G-d to preach to the people of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital. Attempting to escape the task, Jonah fled by ship but was thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish (It is said that the fish was a whale. However, this is biologically impossible as a whale could not swallow a large creature. Furthermore, whales were not found in this area.) After three days Jonah was safely cast ashore. He repented of his disobedience and completed the task.]

Present some key lexical items e.g. place names ( Nineveh, Tarshish, Joppa,); Jonah; ship; storm; to swallow; whale.

Tell the story. While telling the story, ask the pupils questions to check understanding.

At the end of the story you may want to have the pupils draw a scene from the story to put in their portfolio. They can also write in L1 a few sentences telling what the story is about.

 

Title: Q&A activity.

Level: Grades 4/5.

Materials: 3 6 cards of questions.

Aims:

-to practise reading skills.

-to co-operate in finding answers to the questions.

-to practise listening skills.

-to practise writing skills.

Description:

Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students and hand out list of questions.

Allow 5-10 minutes for discussion within the groups.

Call out the questions and take answers from different groups. Make sure the pupils are listening to each other. One way to check this is to ask a representative of a different group to repeat what they just heard. If necessary, write key words of the answers on the blackboard.

Have pupils copy and answer the questions in their portfolios. At this level it is important that you have pupils answer in complete sentences.

 

QUESTION CARDS

 

??????Questions about Yom Kippur??????

 

When is Yom Kippur?

What dont you do on this day?

Where do most people spend the day?

When do you hear the special prayer Kol Nidre?

What bible story do you read on Yom Kippur?

Which colour clothes do people wear on this holiday?

How many services (sets of prayers) are there on Yom Kippur?

 

 

ANSWERS

 

When is Yom Kippur? 10th Tishrei

What dont you do on this day? You dont eat or drink.

Where do most people spend the day? In synagogue.

When do you hear the special prayer Kol Nidre? During the evening service.

What bible story do you read on Yom Kippur? Jonah and the Whale

Which colour clothes do people wear on this holiday? White

How many services (sets of prayers) are there on Yom Kippur? 5

 

Title: Talking and writing activity.

Level: Grade 5/6.

Materials: Blackboard and chalk.

Aims:

-to have students interact together and build a word-map on the blackboard.

-to have students practice their writing skills.

Description:

Teacher introduces subject and writes it on the board. Any of the ideas used in the brainstorming activity for Rosh Hashannah can be used.

Lead a class discussion about the festival. Have the pupils focus on the following two prompts :

                             These are the things I am sorry I did this year.

                             What does Yom Kippur mean to me?

Write keywords on the blackboard.

Have the pupils choose one of the prompts and write a paragraph about it.

After pupil work is corrected it can be used as a wall display, and later placed in the pupils portfolio.

RETURN TO CONTENTS

C. SUCCOT - THE FESTIVAL OF BOOTHS

 

1 BACKGROUND

A holiday rich in tradition and meaning, Succot begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishri. It lasts seven days. The festival is also called the Feast of Tabernacles or the Festival of Booths. Following Succot are the supplementary celebrations of Shmini Atzeret (A Day of Solemn Assembly) and Simhat Torah (Rejoicing of the Law).

 

Succot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals. In ancient times, Jews were expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during three major festivals--Passover, Shavuot, and Succot. Each festival is associated with the Jews' escape from Egypt and their journey to Canaan (now Israel). The Biblical source for the Succot festival is Leviticus 23.

This festival has both religious and agricultural connotations. Many Jews build small booths or huts as a reminder of the huts the Israelites lived in after the Exodus from Egypt when they wandered in the wilderness. These huts have roofs traditionally made of palm fronds. Observant Jews will eat and sleep in these booths throughout the festival.

 

An additional name for Succot is Hag Haasif (Feast of Ingathering). This name reflects the agricultural significance of the holiday. In Ancient Israel during the fall harvest, farmers would live in booths on the edges of their fields while they completed the harvest. Today we remember this by using fresh and artificial fruits to decorate the booths.

 

The agricultural significance of the holiday is further symbolized by the four species over which special blessings are recited on each day of the holiday. The four species represent all growing things in the world. They are a lulav, (the branch of a palm tree) a branch of a willow which grows near water, a branch of a myrtle bush, which has a lovely smell and an etrog, (a citron) a fruit that looks like, but is larger than a lemon. Though these species have different characteristics, they represent all vegetation. The etrog tree, a member of the citrus family, needs human attention to help it grow. Resembling an oversized lemon, the fruit has a pleasing fragrance. Like a lemon, however, it is seldom eaten raw. The lulav, the young shoot of the palm tree, represents fruit-bearing trees which can survive on rainwater. The myrtle is the opposite; it is a pleasant smelling, ornamental shrub that does not yield edible fruit. The willow, which needs a lot of water, usually grows near rivers or streams. Having neither fruit nor fragrance, it can be useful for building fires. These four species were most likely chosen for the thanksgiving ritual because they were abundant in ancient Israel and could last the whole of Succot without losing their fresh appearance, but the Sages have given us all sorts of mystical explanations for their choice. An example of one such explanation is that the four species represent the differences among people. When different kinds of people are brought together in the way that the 4 species are there will be a unified nation.

 

The Aramaic word for guests, ushpezin, has special meaning during Succot. It refers to seven of our ancestors (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David) who are believed to be guests in our succah every day. The presence of these guests reminds us of the supreme importance in the Jewish religion of having guests to share the joy of the festivals with us.

 

One of the daily Succot rituals in the synagogue is reciting a Hoshanah prayer while circling the bimah, or platform, and holding the four species. This ritual has evolved from a similar custom that dates back to the days of the Temples. Hoshanah is a prayer which ends with the refrain "Hoshah-na" ("Oh, save us"). On the seventh day of Succot, the bimah is circled seven times while many such prayers (Hoshanot) are said. The day is, therefore, called Hoshanah Rabbah, which means the great Hoshanah. Hoshanah Rabbah is traditionally considered the last day of the solemn period which started with Rosh Hashannah.

 

Rain appears as a theme throughout the festival of Succot. However, it is on the last day of the festival that we say the prayer for rain. This day is considered an independent festival and is called Shmini Atzeret. None of the special Succot rituals are observed on Shmini Atzeret.

 

On the last day of this festival, called Simhat Torah, Jews celebrate the completion of the yearly reading of the Torah. Ceremonies connected with Simhat Torah were introduced in the 16th century. Among these are the "hakafot" (literally encirclements), the calling of many worshippers to read from the Torah and the blessing of children. The hakafot are a series of seven ceremonial processions around the synagogue in which people take turns carrying the Torah scrolls. Children join in carrying flags and miniature scrolls. There is a lot of singing and dancing.

 

In Israel, Shmini Atzeret is celebrated on the same day as Simchat Torah. In other countries each celebration is on a separate day.

 

It is important that you read the introduction in order to put the activities that follow in their correct framework.

 

2 LEXICAL ITEMS

 

booths, citron, dance, decorations, flag, myrtle, palm, branch, prayer for rain, procession, synagogue, torah, scroll, willow, the four species.

Ideas for different levels

Grade 4: Word search 1 together with word bank.

Grade 5: Word search 1 with or without word bank. Find words related to the Succot festival and use them in sentences.

Grade 5/6: Word search 2 with or without word bank. Organize the words under the titles Succot / Shmini Atzeret / Simhat Torah.

Grade 6: Word search 2 with or without word bank and cloze.

Activity Word search 1

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions :

There are 8 things all related to the

title.

 

 

SUCCOT TIME

 

H V P R I B S S G V C E

W J U Q I U N W Q A U H

Q O C B T K O X Q G L H

F F L M P K I V O S D F

M E T H E K T G E R J R

L W N S B R A N C H E S

A J H O P N R B K B P K

P N D E Y E O P E O N J

H N K S W M C I I O O L

K F T L A W E I M T H K

E C N A D F D H E H Q L

D W F T G N L Y J S G F

 

 

 

 

 

Word bank: Bible, booths, dance, decorations, flag, palm branches,

synagogue, the four species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers for cloze of word search 2

 

During the seven days of Succot we live in booths. We use palm branches and leaves as the roof. We put up decorations of fruit. When we pray during this festival we use the four species. They are a lulav (the youngest branch of a palm tree), a branch of a willow which grows near water, a branch of a myrtle bush which has a lovely smell, and an etrog (citron) which is a fruit that looks like but is larger than a lemon.

 

Activity Word search 2

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions:

There are 18 things all related to the

title.

 

 

SUCCOT TIME

 

K J J F Q M B X S D W D P V M N P Y

V A E D T I I K E G A I Y D I A R A

B B D L X L B N I N W D L A T A O L

M U Z Q W V L J C D O F R L Z C C M

E A N Z W M E E E U Y R O S O U E O

D A X F L K V Z P Z O M V O U W S T

D X V A O B Q B S F S H T O O B S B

H E P P A L M B R A N C H E S E I C

Z C C Y T Z O E U S C R O L L S O N

F H N O X B Y F O Z A H W T Y Z N G

E D U A R A F I F N G K R N J Y U N

W B W L R A D Q E L E Y A N U G A I

X I S P Q B T E H H M G R O R O X S

C X F Y A C C I T H O Y L R Q N Z Q

N E V E S W B K O G A O Q T G J U P

Y C U F T G C M U N Q R T I A F G E

V J E M V S D E A F S T O C L U U W

D Q M M O Z E P W J E F R T F K Z L



Cloze Use some of the words you found to complete the following paragraph.

During the ____________ days of Succot we live in ____________. We use ____________ and leaves as the roof. We put up ____________ of fruit. When we pray during this festival we use ____________. They are a lulav (the youngest ____________ of a ____________ tree), a branch of a ____________ which grows near water, a branch of a ____________ bush which has a lovely smell, and an etrog (____________) which is a fruit that looks like but is larger than a lemon.

 

 

 

Word bank: Bible, booths, branch, citron, dance, decorations, flag, myrtle, palm branches, palm, prayer for rain, procession, seven, synagogue, the four species, torah, scroll, willow.

3 SONGS

Whats in this Box? (Tune " , " )

Whats in this box?

Father please, do tell!

What is in this box?

Please explain it well.

 

A yellow Etrog little one

From Israel my little son.

For Succot blessing dearest one

Dearest child of mine.

 

Whats this rustling thing?

Father please, do tell!

A stick to which leaves cling

Please explain it well.

 

A green Lulav, little one

A branch of palm, little son

To add beauty, dearest one

Dearest child of mine.

 

Whats our Succah for?

Father please, do tell!

Without roof or floor

Please explain it well.

 

 

To remember, little one

The days of wandering, little son.

In the hot desert, dearest one,

Dearest child of mine.

 

Shake the lulav. (Tune Did you ever see a Lassie?)

Did you ever shake a lulav, a lulav, a lulav?
Did you ever shake a lulav on Succot day?

Shake it upwards and downwards
And forwards and backwards,
Did you ever shake a lulav on Succot day?

 

It is Raining (Tune "Frere Jacques.")

It is raining, It is raining,

On my head, on my head.

Pitter, patter raindrops,

Pitter, patter raindrops,

I'm all wet, I'm all wet!

4       ACTIVITIES

 

Title: The guests.

Level: Grade 3.

Materials: If you can obtain pictures of the different ushpizin they will add to the atmosphere. However, the activity can be done without props.

Aims:

-to work with the pupils on letter/sound correspondences.

-to develop the pupils knowledge and appreciation of the concept of hospitality in Judaism.

Description:

Ask the children what the word ushpizin means? (Allow them to explain in Hebrew.)

Tell the pupils about the role of guests. (refer to background information)

Ask them to list the 7 ushpizin.

Show a picture or say the name and have the children repeat.

(The "Ushpizin," The Seven Guests: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David )

 

Title: Succah decorations.

Level: Grade 3/4.

Materials: Pictures of grapes, figs, pomegranates, wheat, barley, honey, nuts.

Aims:

-to revise the lexical items grapes, figs, pomegranates, wheat, barley, honey, nuts.

-to practise sound-letter correspondence.

Description:

Elicit from the pupils things used to decorate the Succah.

Have pictures of grapes, figs, pomegranates, wheat, barley, honey, nuts. For each one say the word, have the pupils repeat.

Say the sound of the first letter or cluster (g,f,p,wh,b,h,n) and have pupils repeat.

Go over the pictures again.

Give the pupils a blank sheet of paper divided into 8. (You can either prepare this in advance or you can have the pupils follow you as you fold it.)

Call a number and have children draw the item. Leave square 1 blank. At the end have them draw a succah or write the name of the festival in the blank square.

 

Title: Succah building.

Level: Grades 4/5.

Materials: Set of statements about the holiday. Sets of cards (each set consists of 4 cards)

Aims:

- to practise listening skills.

- to reinforce lexical items connected to the festival.

- to provide pupils with a framework to co-operate together as a group.

Description:

Divide the class into groups of three to five pupils.

The teacher reads out a statement about Succot. The group chosen has to state whether it is true or false. A correct answer receives a building card. The aim of the game is to collect 3 walls and 1 roof in order to build a succah.

 

Building cards

wall

wall

wall

roof

wall

wall

wall

roof

wall

wall

wall

roof

wall

wall

wall

roof

True-false statements. You may need to act out or use visuals to help the pupils understand the sentences. An option is to allow a representative from another group to read and act out the statement. If they do it well they can be rewarded with a building card.

 

A succah is a booth.

An etrog is an orange.

We dip apple in honey at Succot.

Elijah visits all the succot in Israel.

David is one of the seven guests (ushpizin) in the succah.

We use the 4 species at Succot.

We fast on Succot.

We eat matzah on Succot.

Succot has seven days.

You cant see through the roof of the succah.

The eighth day of the festival is called Simhat Torah.

People are very sad on Simhat Torah.

People dance with the torah on Simhat Torah.

We pray for rain during Succot.

We decorate the Succot with fruit.

 

Answers to true-false statements.

True A succah is a booth.

False An etrog is an orange.

False We dip apple in honey at Succot.

False Elijah visits all the Succot in Israel.

True David is one of the seven guests (ushpizin) in the succah.

True We use the 4 species at Succot.

False We fast on Succot.

False We eat matzah on Succot.

True Succot has seven days.

False You cant see through the roof of the succah.

True The eighth day of the festival is called Simhat Torah.

False People are very sad on Simhat Torah.

True People dance with the torah on Simhat Torah.

True We pray for rain during Succot.

True We decorate the Succot with fruit.

 

 

Title: Hangman.

Level: Grades 4/5/6.

Materials: Blackboard and chalk.

Aims:

-to practise the names of the letters.

-to anticipate letter clusters (eg. Ea / st /es.)

Description:

Play hangman with the English translation of the festival:

THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

(Pupils will probably not guess this immediately if at all. Ask and/or tell them that is the formal English for Succot.)

 

Title: Talking/writing activity.

Level: Grades 5/6.

Materials: Blackboard and chalk.

Aims:

-to have students interact together and build a word-map on the blackboard.

-to have students practise their writing skills.

Description:

Class discussion: Introduce the festival. (You can use a game of hangman, simply write it on the blackboard, show a picture, or ask a question such as Why are we not coming to school next week?)

What can you tell me about this holiday? Teacher writes keywords on blackboard.

Pull the discussion together by having students write something for their portfolio. Ideas for this include:

Words I learnt from our class discussion. Have the pupils list the words, use them in sentences, and/or prepare a word search with the new words.

Sentences. Have the pupils write 5-10 sentences about what they learnt from the class discussion.

Letter. Have the pupils write a letter explaining this holiday to someone who does not live in Israel.

 

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