The Canteen is a tribute to all things Jewish sleepaway camp. Hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), this blog is written by campers, alumni, parents, and camp professionals and is a place to talk about parenting, camp fun, projects, crafts, recipes, and more – all tied back to Jewish holidays, traditions and, of course, camp!
Today was about Torah and today was about midrash.
I have been teaching our 3rd graders about the Torah readings we’ve done in the last several weeks. Today, we had Fashion Five Minutes (Fashion Week? I wish! Each second with these kids is precious, and we have precious minutes on Monday mornings!). We watched the g-dcast video about Tetzaveh, talked about holy clothing, and the squad of 3rd graders sketched holy garb. Some recreated the g-dcast animation, some drew pictures of a favorite dress, and some drew a particularly swirly kippot. Boom. Midrash.
I popped into a 5th grade Torah service. My colleague taught them how to chant and the whole class reads for their invited guests and family. They’re like grasshoppers to me – they seem so small, but they’re actually looming large, chanting like the middle schoolers they will be so very soon. Also, they read the story of the spies in parshat Shlach Lecha. Beautifully. And soon, we’ll be sending them over to the middle school. Boom. Torah.
After that, it was off to iPod Tefillah, a program from URJ Camp Coleman that I’ve modified to great reception at both camp and school. After a student group chose “Brave” by Sara (Beth) Bareilles (can’t help but love her – what a great name!) as a good example of the themes in Mi Chamocha, I confirmed that they knew that the midrashic character from the crossing of the sea was headed up by Nachshon, the bravest Israelite to escape from Egypt. The answer came, loudly, from a Coleman camper who’s a student at Davis. Boom. Midrash.
Next, I set up lunch packing for our 8th graders. Each grade has taken time out of their own lunch to prepare and pack lunches for the Zaban Couples Center at The Temple in Atlanta. Students instruct each other on the best way to make their sandwich, help me pack up boxes of lunches, and bring them to the car so they can be dropped off, and given to people who truly need them. Each student is instructed to make a lunch that they would like to receive – do you want apple or berry juice? Do you want a green or a red apple? And, most importantly, what kind of a note would you like to receive in your lunch to add a spark of happiness to your lunch break? A 6th grader wrote “You are beautiful in every single way” and an 8th grader scrawled “This is the best sandwich I’ve ever created!” Both show love in the student’s own unique way – and we were all loving our neighbors as we would love ourselves. Boom. Torah.
I shot over from lunch packing to the lower school building to listen to some 5th graders reading Torah, followed by a practice of the seder play that our 2nd graders are doing. Boom. Torah. Boom. Midrash.
It is truly rewarding to work with these kids. Teaching children at all times, when I’m walking and when I’m sitting.
Pronounced: SAY-der, Origin: Hebrew, literally “order”; usually used to describe the ceremonial meal and telling of the Passover story on the first two nights of Passover. (In Israel, Jews have a seder only on the first night of Passover.)
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.