Parashah for Preschoolers

Torah tips for ages three to five.

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Theme 4: Trying New Things

Characters in the Torah constantly face the challenge of trying something new. For example, in Numbers 13 in Parashat Shlah, Moses sends spies to scout out the land of Canaan. The spies' report about giants in the land makes the Israelites become too scared to go into the land. They find it easier to stay put in the desert, which they know, rather than take the risk of going to a new place.

Sleeping in a bed, potty-training, and going to school for the first time are just a sampling of the many "firsts" preschool-aged kids face.
Once again, children can easily connect to the emotions behind the stories in the Torah--the fear of doing something new and the feeling of pride that comes from taking that first step.

Getting Started

One or more of these four themes--opposites, helping, making mistakes, and trying new things--can be found in every parashah in the Torah. Try to highlight one of these themes with your child each week. You might want to set aside a specific time each week as "parashah time," such as dinner on Friday night, Saturday morning after breakfast, or once a week as part of the bedtime routine. You can further simplify and concretize these discussions by using props, role play, and movement.

Even a few minutes each week can establish a routine of learning and study between you and your children that can grow as the years go by.

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Sarah Gershman

Sarah Gershman is a Teaching Fellow at the Partnership for Jewish Living and Learning in Rockville, MD. Sarah is the president of Green Room Speakers.