Are You A Good Jew?
Group Size: 10-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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This is the place!
To explain to your chanichim that it is not one characteristic that defines a good Jew, but there are many different types of Jews and we can’t really judge which is the best. There is no the best Jew! BUT the many different types of Jews all contribute to the idea of the Jewish identity.
Step 1: Open with a game of Red Rover. Go one or two times regularly with individual people, but then after a couple of times say... red rover red rover all good Jews come over! hopefully if all of you chanichim will just run with it and run over.
Step 2: Discuss with your chanichim why they think they are good Jews. They’ll probably answer things like they daven every day and they go to Bnei Akiva. At this point once you’ve discussed this head into the next part of the peula.
Step 3: There are four different monologues. The madrichim will be acting out each of the monologues separately. The chanichim are to time the madrichim to only speak about their character for 1 1/2 minutes. There four characters are: a charedi Jew that lives in Israel, a kibbutznik that lives and is dedicated to eretz yisrael but is chiloni, an American philanthropist that donates money to Jewish causes, but isn’t really connected to Judaism, and a Russian Jew during the time of the USSR that is Zionist because he doesn’t really know anything about Judaism except that he is Jewish and wants to move to Israel to learn about Judaism and to be in a Jewish environment.
Step 4: discuss the different aspects of the four characters bring up benefits to their character like the Russian is really interested in zehut yehudi and wants to learn more so that he can make an educated decision about being dati. The Russian also is Zionist; he wants to be closer to the Jewish nation. The American philanthropist doesn’t have a religious connection to hashem do he does what he can monetarily. The kibbutznik feels closer to judaism by being in Israel and being under the protection of the Jewish nation, and feels that by working the land he is closer to hashem and am yisrael. Finally there is the charedi. The charedi might not even believe in midinat yisrael even though he lives there. And might be one sided and feel if it isn’t his way it is no way. But, he feels that the torah will bring one closer to am yisrael and zehut yehudi. All of these characters have one major point! They all want to be part of the Jewish Identity in one way or another.
Is there really one Jew that is better than the other? No because all Jews have their faults and assets. No one can really judge if someone is a good Jew only hashem can.
Step 5: We can tie these points into previous peulot. We say here that there are many types of characters that make up the Jewish identity. There isn’t one set of characteristics in a person that makes them a good Jew. All of these different characters that are part of the Jewish identity fit together to make one nation - am yisrael. It is like with the puzzles only one nation - the Jewish nation - can hold together as a nation with so many different pieces. They all fit together in a puzzle. Any other nation wouldn’t be able to hold with so many different aspect like the puzzle that didn’t have really puzzle pieces. You can also compare this to the human pyramid each person is a building block to create the big pyramid - the complete identity. Ideally all of these pieces should fit perfectly together to form Achdut in the nation. Some times we have a lot of rough spots with achdut, but it is still something that Jews struggle with because they don’t realize that all Jews are unique and contribute to the Jewish identity. It doesn’t matter if everyone is one uniform character because who can you really 100% say is a good Jew?
Charedi that lives in Israel
Hi, my name is Dovid Chaim Burger. I have lived in eretz yisroel my whole life, and am very proud to be a charedi jew. Let me tell you a little bit about my ideology. I believe in following halachot to the dot, and really anyone that doesn't hold to my letter of the law isn't strict enough. I believe women shouldn't learn gemara, but gemara is the most important aspect of all leimudi kodesh and most of my time learning is best spent on gemara. Yes, I have lived in eretz yisroel my whole life, but I refuse to believe that there is a midnat yisroel because it is not appropriate to have a jewish state that is secular. Thanks for listening to me.
Hello my name is Hodiyah Weiss I have lived on a small kibbutz in the Galil my whole life. I am a secular jew, I believe that the halachot that we are expected to live by are unreasonable and out dated. But, I am very zionistic and very proud to be able to work the land of Israel. Many people ask me why I am so zionistic if I don't even believe in doing the mitzvot. Well I remember hearing the horror stories of my grandparents that survived the shoah. This was a time were everything seem really good for the jews in the diaspora, but the countries the jews lived in turned on them and ended up killing 6 million of us. Never again do I want Jewish lives risked in such huge numbers it. I see Israel as a haven to jews, and yes jews are at risk from the terrorists, but at least in Israel we can defend ourselves.
Hello my name is Jonathon Davidson. I have grown up in the United States, and my family isn't really that religious. We try to make it to synogogue maybe 4 or 5 times a year. I wish that I had a better connection to the Jewish community and life here in my hometown of cleveland. The most I am able to do at the moment is donate money to jewish causes because over the years I have become a very wealthy man. It is a good thing to maintain your jewish identity but it is also important to blend into the world around you. I have never really learned that much about the bible but what I remember from sunday school so many years ago it seems anything that is expected from us is so farfetched and outdated.
Egor Yeltsin is my name and sadly I am a Russian Jew. Even worse that is all I know about judaism that I am a Jew. I don't know what that means because russia used to be a communist country and wouldn't allow freedom of religion. If someone was caught practicing a relgion in the most severe cases the person would be killed. In 1992 the USSR broke up and the communist rule ended ever since then small pieces of information about Jews has reached my village. One thing I found really interesting that I had only heard rumors about before was a Jewish State. That there is actually a place in the world were over 6 million jews live. I just found this amazing and ever since I found out about Israel I have wanted to move there to be part of a jewish enviroment and explore what being a Jew really means.