Sound the shofar! Call the people to repentance, for it is the beginning of a new year. After ten days of penitence, we will observe Yom Kippur. From Jonas’ journal entry this week:
“Yom Kippur is the atonement holiday. The high priest put his hand on the goat, gave it the sins, and it ran away for a symbol of forgiveness.”
This week, our studies revolved around the year which the Children of Israel spent at Mount Sinai before they began wandering in the wilderness. Jonas memorized the Ten Commandments (thanks to an abridged version which fits to the tune of “Jingle Bells”) and we practiced writing our numerals in Hebrew. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we listed to real Jewish cantors sing blessings and prayers and we heard the sound of a real shofar.
We learned about the way ancient Israelites observed the Sabbath and took a quick overview of the many Levitical laws that governed their lives. We also talked about the divine instructions which were given through Moses for the building of the Tabernacle, and Jonas drew a map of the Tabernacle to include in his notebook.
My Tapestry curriculum makes a point to not ‘jump ahead’ of the young student at this point. It was SO hard for me not to dive into the ways that Jesus is revealed in the holy days. I had to zip my lip when we talked about the Holy of Holies, and how the high priest was only allowed to enter once per year — but I know that the veil was torn, Praise God, so that I no longer need the intercession of priest or a yearly scapegoat; I know that I can approach the throne of grace with confidence. I have so much appreciation for the beauty of the symbolism that is woven throughout the Old Testament! I love the ‘tapestry’ that God has woven together for us, His people, to see and touch and taste. But, the curriculum points out, these early years are marked by a difficulty in making those kinds of symbolic connections. For the 1st-3rd grader, the emphasis is on lots of hands-on projects and experiences so that the child grasps the historical events we’re discussing. I can – and do! – point out God’s grace to Jonas, with thanksgiving that we don’t have to wait for the Day of Atonement to ask for our forgiveness. But I’m trying to be patient, because I believe in this methodology. In a few years’ time, I think Jonas will see some of those connections for himself. And the others, I’ll be able to point out, because he will have a solid foundation (of concrete experiences) to draw on.
On Friday, we baked our own challah.
Simple ingredients: flour, sugar, oil, salt, yeast, eggs (oh glorious eggy eggs) and poppy seeds.
Finish with an egg wash and a sprinkle of poppy seeds… then bake for 30-40 minutes.
At dinnertime, we set the table with fine china; I lit two candles and recited a special Hebrew blessing. We broke bread together and had a wonderful meal (spaghetti and meatballs, if you’re curious).