Rosh Chodesh - ראש חודש
Group Size: 15-35
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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This is the place!
to teach the chanichim about how we knew when it was rosh chodesh before the now established calendar system, and of course, to have fun!!
Goal: to teach the chanichim about how we knew when it was rosh chodesh before the now established calendar system, and of course, to have fun!!
Suggested Age: Taf, Aleph
Suitable for Shabbat
Trigger Game #1: Race to the Beit Din
- Variation of red-light, green light. The chanichim have to get from one wall (Yerushalayim) to the other wall (the Beit Din), to report to the Beit Din that they saw the moon, without getting stopped by the Madrichim a.k.a. Karaites. (The sect that didn’t hold by the oral torah, tried to start trouble, esp. by messing around the calender dates).
- Then we play the game again, going the other way where the chanichim have to get from the beit din, to a hill where they will "light a torch" to pass on the message that it's Rosh Chodesh.
- Variation of "if you love me baby, smile.” Everyone sits in a circle and 2 chanichim are in the middle and they are the "Beit Din”. Everyone else in the circle are the "edim" or witnesses. The chanichim in the middle go around to everyone in the circle and say; "did you see the moon?" and try to make them laugh or smile. The other chanichim have to respond without smiling or laughing; "you’re a great Beit Din, but I just didn't see the moon". If someone laughs then they become the Beit Din.
- Play the game where you go around the circle and say; "the moon is...." while doing an action. Then everyone else has to try and copy that action, and the person who started tells them if they are right or not (If they described the moon correctly)
Summarize what happened on Rosh Chodesh. People saw moon, went to beit din, beit din examines witnesses, sends out torches on hills, everyone knows its rosh chodesh.
This is important because we have to know what dates holidays are.
Talk about how the Karaites used to mess it up, therefore we made a set calendar.