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1 igniting your shabbat services

2 HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE Hello and welcome to Spark! Spark is a new idea from Tribe, aimed at facilitating the smooth running of Toddlers Services, Children s Services and Youth Services across United Synagogue communities. Firstly, thank you for offering to run a Children s Service in your local shul. The US is very proud of the numerous Children s services that are run every week across the UK, and we would not be able to do this without you! Spark has been designed in order to help you run your Children s Services. Obviously, every Children s Service is different, in terms of how many children there are; what their age range is; how long it is for; and how knowledgeable the children are likely to be of this week s parasha. Ideally, where possible, a Children s Service should consist of some time used to discuss the weekly parasha, and some time devoted to davening. Spark is aimed at the parasha part of the service. It gives you an overview of what happens in the weekly parasha, and then a song, activity, discussion or Dvar Torah to run with the children depending on their ages. After the parasha summary on the next page, Spark has been split into 5 sections. Larger communities may have 5 different Children s / Youth Services running concurrently. Each of these will be able to use one section for their relevant age group. If your shul does not have as many groups, then you should use the section that best suits the age range of your participants. It has been created in a way to be flexible, so that it can be run in 10 minutes, if you have a short service, or longer if you have the time. If you also look at sections for other age groups, you may even find that you would like to use the ideas and information from more than one of the sections. It is important to note that Spark should help you to run Children s Services, but it does not completely run it for you. It is not designed to give to one of the children to read out to the group for them to run themselves. You are running the Children s Service, and Spark is here to help you do it. Largely, no props will be needed, but ideally you should read Spark before you start the Children s Service, so that you can think of further ideas to complement it. We hope that you and the children in the Children s Service will benefit from Spark, we thank and congratulate you for doing it; and as always we welcome your feedback. Shabbat shalom, The Tribe Education Team

3 Parasha Summary nthe portion begins by informing us that when we enter the land of Israel, the first fruits will be dedicated to God. nwe learn that God, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel, are inseparable. nwe then read about the Blessings and Curses, which we will receive for keeping or not keeping the commandments in the Torah. nmoses begins to give his final speech to the children of Israel.

4 Pre-nursery to Reception Tots In this week s parasha, the Children of Israel are about to enter the land of Israel, following the Exodus. n Ask them if they have ever been to Israel? n Do they know anyone who lives there? n Do they like it there? n What s their favourite place to visit in Israel?

5 YEAR 1 & 2 Ages 5-7 At the beginning of this week s parasha we read that the first of all fruits are to be dedicated to God, when we enter the land of Israel. This Mitzvah is known as Ma aseh. Activity: Play the game Fruit basket with the children, with Kosher foods instead of fruit. n Play the game duck duck goose, with fruits instead of ducks. n All the children should sit in a circle, except for one child. n He/she walks around the circle tapping each child on the head, saying orange until he/she chooses the next person to be banana. n He/she then chases the person round the circle. If the person who is selected to be banana doesn t catch the person then s/he is the banana.

6 YEAR 3 & 4 Ages 7-9 At the end of this week s parsha, Moses begins to speak to the Children of Israel. This will be the last time before he dies. Moses was a tremendous leader for the Jewish people, and led them out of Egypt and through the desert, but now he will not enter Israel. Activity; n Play follow my leader with the children. n The children all sit in a circle. n One child goes out of the room, while another child is secretly chosen to be the leader. n The leader starts an action, e.g. clapping hands, winking, and all children follow what s/he is doing. Change the actions regularly. n The child who went out the room has to try and guess who the leader is. Discussion Points; n In this modern era, do we need leaders? n Is it better to have too many, or too few leaders? n What qualities and characteristics should a leader have? (Remember Moses had a stutter, and suggested that his brother Aaron would be a better leader than him.) n Do we always need to listen to our leaders?

7 YEAR 5 & 6 Ages 9-11 In this week s parasha, God instructs Israel to set aside 10% of their produce for the needy, which illustrates the importance of helping others who need charity. We should remember that there are always people in the world that are less fortunate than us. Discussion Points: n Ask the children which charities have they heard of? E.g. United Synagogue, Project Chesed n Are some charities more important than others? n Why should we give charity? n Should we concentrate on helping people in the UK, or in the third world? n Should we give to Jews first? Or try and help everyone?

8 Youth service Ages Dvar Torah The Torah states: "And you shall rejoice with all the good that the Almighty has given you" (Deuteronomy/ Devarim 26:11). Why does the Torah obligate us with a commandment to rejoice, when the natural inclination is to be happy when good things happen to us? Rabbi Gifter clarifies this; "Man's nature is to constantly want more than he currently has. Often, when we have something that we really want, our moment of joy is mixed with sadness over what we still lack. Therefore, the Torah commands us to feel a joy that is complete - to focus on and rejoice with, what we have." If you think that you will be happy only when you have more, then you will NEVER be happy. When you finally get what you were hoping for, you will once again focus on getting more and will again feel unhappy. Happiness is dependent upon your state of mind. You can only be happy if you appreciate what you have and what you are presently doing. There is a story of a multi-millionaire who doesn't know that he is rich because all of his money is sewn into the mattress and he doesn't know that it is there. Instead, he complains about sleeping on a lumpy mattress! In Ethics of the Fathers (chapter 4) it states, "Who is the rich person? He who is happy with his portion." Regardless of what you have, you are only wealthy if you have mastered the ability to appreciate what you have.

9 igniting your shabbat services We hope you find our guide to this week s Parsha useful. Be sure to look out for exciting Tribe programmes in your shul. Shabbat Shalom! The Tribe Education Team t: e:

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