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Modern Maccabee -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 8-12
Group Size: 32-50
Estimated Time: 75 minutes

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Resource Goal

The Chanichim will learn 4 aspects of the Maccabim that we need to emulate in our day:

1. The Torah is meant to infuse every part of our lives as individuals and as a nation.

2. In everything we do, we cant just leave it up to Hashem, we have to also put in our own effort

3. We need to stand up for our beliefs, even when many others might not agree.

4. We need to realize the importance of Jewish sovereignty- of being in charge of our own destiny


Resource Contents

Shabbat Peulah: 3rd-6th grade

We are Modern Maccabim!

Goal: The Chanichim will learn 4 aspects of the Maccabim that we need to emulate in our day:

1. The Torah is meant to infuse every part of our lives as individuals and as a nation.

2. In everything we do, we cant just leave it up to Hashem, we have to also put in our own effort

3. We need to stand up for our beliefs, even when many others might not agree.

4. We need to realize the importance of Jewish sovereignty- of being in charge of our own destiny

These are the four stations that the chanichim will rotate through on Friday night after the skit. Each game could be 10-12 minutes, and each sicha could be about 5 minutes. Listen for the times to switch from Bini.

Station #1

Taboo

Noseh: The Torah is meant to infuse every part of our lives as individuals and as a nation.

Instructions: Divide chanichim into two even teams. One person from the first team comes up as the caller and tries to get his team to guess the word on top, without him saying any of the taboo words on the bottom part of the card. If he does use any of those words, that card is invalid, and he must go on to the next card. If he wishes, he can pass on a card and move to the next. The caller gets 1 minute to get as many cards as possible, then it goes over to the next team. You can also play with stealing- when a teams time is up, give the other team the chance to guess all the ones that werent gotten, for points. Keep track of the points

Remind the chanichim- while they are playing this game, they should be thinking about what aspect/characteristic of the Maccabim this might be hinting at.

Sicha (italics are questions you can ask the group):

5 minutes

Now that weve had our fun- what was the theme of this game? What was the common thread between all the cards? They were all about mitzvoth that we do as part of our lives.

What aspect about what it takes to be a Modern Maccabim did it allude to?

The Maccabim knew that Torah is something thats supposed to infuse every single part of our life. Look at the cards, and see how every detail of everything we do- the Torah has something to say about it, whether its eating, or buying stuff, or tying your shoelaces. How do you guys feel about that? Do you feel like its annoying? Is there another perspective that can be taken? What would life be like without all this?

We might think that all this detail makes us nuts, but if you think about what life would be like without it- it would really be a life without meaning. Why would we be doing what were doing? What would be the importance of the things we do? Wed find that most of our days were doing things that were not so excited about, that arent really so important. The Torah gives us the opportunity to make every minute piece of our life special

Were there any laws here that didnt have to do as much with ones personal life, but were more about society?

What we said about the Torah isnt only true for the individual, its also true for us as a nation. The Torah is the guide to creating a Jewish society. The Maccabis knew this, and they also knew that you cant accomplish that while you have foreigners ruling over you, and their culture getting all confused with yours. Discuss this point in terms of the Medinah today- our ability to fulfill mitzvoth that hadnt been fulfilled for thousands of years, and the potential for even more

So- bottom line- whats the message? (make sure they get this line!!)

The Modern Maccabi knows that Torah needs to be infused into every aspect of our lives, as individuals and as a nation.


Station #3

Jeopardy

Noseh: Standing up despite the crowd

Instruction:

Plays just like Jeopardy. There are four categories- Torah Trivia, Israel Intelligence, Movie Mania, and Location Concentration. Each category has 5 questions of different values and difficulty levels- $200, $400, $600, $800, and $1000. Divide the group into 2-4 teams. Have each team choose a team name and a distinctive buzz-in sound. Choose a team to start, by seeing who can answer a random question first. The team to their right will be team #2, to their right team #3, etc. Each team should choose a player to start. The player on Team #1 chooses a category, and the answer is read. The first player to make their teams buzz sound answers. If he gets it right, the next player on his team gets to choose the category. If he gets it wrong, the player to his right can answer it- if not it moves on to the right (I just made that rule up so if you want to play that differently- go ahead!). If no player can answer, or if no one answers the initial question after 10 seconds, the next team chooses a new category. All answers must be in the form of a question.

If youre a jeopardy buff and you want to make something into a daily double- feel free. Play for 10 minutes or until questions are all done.

Remind the chanichim- while they are playing this game, they should be thinking about what aspect/characteristic of the Maccabim this might be hinting at.

Sicha:

What was the theme of the questions in the Jeopardy game? They were all about situations where people stood up for their beliefs, even if many others didnt agree with them.

How does this connect to the Maccabim? We sometimes think that everyone was with the Maccabim- the truth is, it wasnt the case! There was a lot of opposition to what the Maccabim were doing. Why do you think this would be so? Some ideas to discuss: 1) People thought they had no chance, 2) people thought that they would be endangering the entire nation, 3) people thought they didnt have the right to fight- who are they to fight? Despite the opposition to them, though, the Maccabim stayed true to their path, they didnt give up, and slowly, many people joined them.

How does this relate to our days, in terms of Medinat Yisrael? Who are the Maccabim? Who are against the Maccabim? Discuss how small the chances seemed that a Jewish State would be able to survive, surrounded as it was by enemy nations. Wasnt it dangerous to encourage Jews to live in such a dangerous place? Isnt it even dangerous now? We see though, that Israel provides the only real security to Jews around the world- wherever and whenever there have been Jews in trouble, Israel is there- whether its in Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, Entebbe, or anywhere else.

So- bottom line- whats the message? (make sure they get this line!!)

The Modern Maccabi knows that he has to stay true to his message, even though many people disagree with him.

Jeopardy:

Theme: Standing up against the crowd

Categories:

Question 1- $200

Question 2- $400

Question 3- $600

Question 4- $800

Question 5- $1000

Daily Double: Double normal Value (pick any 2 questions)

Torah Trivia:

1. When it came to monotheism, the entire world stood on one side and this Tanach character stood on the other. (Who is Avraham? )

2. While everyone was worshipping an idol, the members of this tribe refused, and instead they waited patiently Moshe to return from the mountain. (Who is Shevet Levi?)

3. When he saw 2 people sinning in public and everyone else watching helplessly, this character grabbed a spear and acted! (Who is Pinchas?)

4. These 2 characters broke away from the rest of their group and refused to give a bad report about the land of Israel (Who are Yehoshua and Kalev?)

5. Even though all the other Jews in the land of Persia were doing it, this character would only bow down to Hashem and not to the kings wicked advisor. (Who is Mordechai?)

Location Concentration:

1. Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped headfirst into this sea when everyone else was afraid (What is the Yam Suf?)

2. The Marranos refused to give up a Jewish way of life in this country. (What is Spain or Portugal?)

3. Sandy Koufax refused to play baseball on Yom Kippur during this crucial set of games (What is the World Series?)

4. At this mountaintop fort, the last remaining Jewish fighters decided to commit suicide then to be captured by the Romans and sold into slavery. (What is Masada?)

5. Nevuchadnezzar threw Channanya, Mishael and Azariah into a fiery pit, in this country, for refusing to bow down to the idol he had made. (What is Bavel?)

Israel Intelligence:

1. The founder of Modern Zionism, this person presented his new theory to the world through the publishing of his book The Jewish State. (Who is Theodore Herzl?)

2. When people thought that the Jewish State would never survive, this woman, who would later become prime minister, traveled to the United States and raised enough money to buy weapons for Israel to defend itself with. (Who is Golda Meir?)

3. Unlike most religious and ultra orthodox Jews of the early 20th Century, this group led by Rav Kook ztl, believed in the founding a Jewish State before the time of Moshiach. (Who is the Mizrachi / religious Zionists?)

4. This British politician wrote a famous declaration, which is named after him, in 1917, declaring Englands support for a future Jewish State. (Who is Lord Balfour?)

5. This president of the United States, after meeting with Chaim Weizman, went against the decision of his advisors and voted for a Jewish State in the 1947 U.N Partition vote (Who is Harry Truman?)

Movie Mania:

1. In this movie, the heroes try to defeat a network of computers who control the human race, by freeing as many human minds as they can. (What is The Matrix?)

2. In this movie, a kids hockey team tries to prove that they are just as good as all the other richer and more professional teams. (What is The Mighty Ducks?)

3. A princess, a renegade and an orphan farm boy join up to rid the galaxy of the Dark Side in this space movie series. (What is Star Wars?).

4. In this movie, after being convicted of killing his wife, a crime he did not do, the hero escapes from jail, and while being chased by a determined FBI agent, he tries to prove to the world that he is innocent (What is The Fugitive?)

5. Two short people trek the dangerous path through Middle Earth to destroy the evil wizards terrible ring. (What is the Lord of the Rings?)

Station #4

Apples To Apples

Noseh: The importance of Jewish sovereignty- of being in charge of our own destiny

Instructions:

Apples to Apples is a wacky game of random debate. Divide the Chanichim into 4 teams. There are two types of cards- the white ones and the colored ones. The colored ones are kept in a pile, and one is drawn for every round., Give each team 4 white cards to start off. Teams should always keep 4 cards in their hand, so, when they use a card, they should take another one from the pile of extras before the next round. Teams rotate being the Judge. The Judge team flips over one of the colored cards. Teams then have 20 seconds to decide which one of their cards they will put in as the definition or most perfect example of that word. (Teams should take turns on who in the team gets the final decision) For instance, if the colored card says Dictator, teams try to put down the card that they will be able to say best represents/matches the word Dictator. The Judge Team then makes its decision as to which team wins. You can play that the next team then judges, or that the team that wins then gets to be the Judge.

The fun in the game is in the teams trying to convince the Judge that theyre right when the decision is being made. Kids should be encouraged to try to influence their decision, telling how their card is the best, and others are worse.

Sicha:

What was the common thread in all of the cards? They were all connected to the idea of Jewish sovereignty and government. This is a toughie, and I dont know how easily the chanichim will get it. Try to highlight the most obvious ones to make the point (Israeli government, melech Yisrael) and then talk about why the other ones fit (Galut is when we dont have a State, our own government, Antisemitism is something thats very threatening to us when were under the control of other nations.

How does this relate to the Maccabim? What aspect of the Maccabi is this hinting to? We want to get at not just the fact that the Maccabim regained power, and malchut was returned to Israel (as the Rambam says), but that they realized how important this is. The Maccabim realized that they need not only to get rid of the decrees of the Greeks, but that they need to overthrow the Greeks, to return self-rule to the Jews.

Why do you think sovereignty, being in charge of our own destiny, was important to the Maccabim? What are the downsides of being ruled by another nation? Isnt it better to let them deal with the politics, so that we can be good Jews? The Torah, as you may have discussed already, or will discuss soon, is meant to be practiced not only by individuals, but by the Jewish people as a nation. The Jewish people can only fully develop themselves when they dont have another power above them (other than Hashem), and when they do, not only do they not develop, but they dwindle. In the times of the Greeks, we know that assimilation was rampant- the Greek culture was overtaking Jewish tradition. This is inevitable when Jews are under the rule of a different nation. How does Modern Day North America compare to this situation? What are the challenges that America poses to Judaism? (For an especially advanced group, and if you feel prepared to deal with the question intelligently you can counter with the question- is Israel really free of foreign culture? Dont kids get drawn into American culture there too??)

Furthermore, our goal as a nation is to be a dugmah ishit to all the other states and nations in the world of how to worship God as a nation, not just as individuals (this is a huge concept, a major yesod of bnei Akiva ideology- again, if the kids are into it, you can explore it further.) In order to accomplish this, we need to be a sovereign nation. The Maccabis realized this- who is going to fight for this in our day?

So- bottom line- whats the message? (make sure they get this line!!)

The Modern Maccabi knows the importance of the Jewish people being in charge of its own destiny, being a sovereign nation.


Resource Comments
requires prior preparation, make sure you have enough madrichim


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