Group Size: 10-55
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
Download this file (34 KB)
Did you download this file and do you have something to share?
This is the place!
In this peulah we start with the most basic of topics-friendship and how we relate to others. Though it is the most basic, however, this topic is still among the most important in the lives of Jews of all ages. As Rabbi Akiva said, “V’Ahavta L’Reiacha Kamocha-Hu Klal Gadol BaTorah”. By instilling the value of proper friendship and mitzvot bein adam l’chaveiro in our chanichim we are giving them one of the most important gifts they will ever receive.
To learn what it means to be a good friend. To present the idea of a chevrah and its importance and to instill the value of treating every person as we would like to be treated.
Standing in a circle, everyone should receive a cup with one candy in it. Fill one cup up with candies, (or use half a box of candies or chips or pretzels). At the end of each round everyone has to eat a certain number of candies to have enough energy to get to the next round.
Since each chanich has one candy they will all get through the first round which requires only one candy-Now is when it starts getting interesting…
Give one chanich the half-box of candies and have them pass it around. Each chanich should take as many candies as they think they will need to get through the entire game. What they don’t know, however, is how many rounds there will be or how many candies they will need for each round.
In between each round the madrich should transfer candies among the kids e.g. have the one who has the most give all of his candies-except one-to the one who has the
least…after a couple of rounds let the chanichim start trading amongst themselves.
Hopefully, they will understand the value of sharing and will make sure that everyone gets enough to get through all the rounds. However, it is more likely that they just won’t get it and a number of kids will end up not having enough candy to get through the whole game. Once a bunch of kids have gotten “out” or once all the candies have been eaten , bring all the survivors into the middle to play a game of freeze tag. All those who did not survive are “it” and must touch the survivors (same sex only). When touched a survivor must freeze until another survivor touches him.
Having played until the kids are too tired to run (or more likely until you run out o ftime in Snif) sit everyone down and make a very simple point: The more people that they shared their candies with during the game the more people who were around to unfreeze them during the game of tag. The more people who they didn’t share with, the more “its” there were out to get them.
The point of this game is very simple, but may be a bit subtle, and should be strongly emphasized. Not helping your friends is simply not an option!!
The game for 1-3 graders can be used for this group in a shortened version in addition to the following peulah:
Make up name tags before shabbat. On the name tag write one of a variety of personalities that you would find in a classroom-e.g. smarty pants, teachers pet, trouble maker, too cool, bully…
Give one nametag to each of the chanichim in your group and tell them to form two groups of friends based on the personality types they think their assigned personality would like (ie Smarty Pants might be friends with Too Cool…).
Once they have formed the groups ask them how they would relate to people from the other group.
Would they: Invite them over to their house
Talk to them in school ,
Say Hi to them on the bus…
Now change the situation, a nuclear war has broken out and they are all trying to get into the school’s small bomb shelter.
Who would they help in first?
Would they help in people who they aren’t friends with? Would they risk their lives for them?
What if only half of them could fit, who should survive?
Important points to bring out in the discussion are:
· The mitzva of V’ahavta l’reicha kamocha (LOVING everyone!!)
· We may not be best friends with everyone but we have to treat them all nicely-as we ourselves would want to be treated.
· How “good” people isn’t defined by who we are friends with-those who aren’t our friends deserve to make it into the shelter just as much as those who are.
· There is an Issur D’oraita of “Al ta’amod al dam reiacha”-we cannot stand idly by while a fellow Jew is in trouble. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to gie up our own lives but we do have to try and help!!
This peulah will focus on one of the most relevant issues for this age group:
Instead of a game, the trigger for this sicha will be a story taken from the “Twilight Zone”. (For this, as for all stories it works better if you learn the basic plot and tell it with your own improvisation, if you just read it kids will not pay attention.)
Here we go:
It’s late at night when Jon gets home. He has just spent a long and hard day at the office and all he wants to do is have dinner and go to sleep. As he walks in the door he notices a smell describable only as “Uchh!!”. Realizing that it is his burnt dinner that he is smelling, he immediately begins to yell at his wife, “Laura!! How many times have I told you that I need to have a good dinner ready for me when I get home!! Can’t you do anything right? I slave all day trying to make some money so we can make it out of this dump and you can’t even cook dinner properly!!” An argument ensues with Laura replying that she too has had a hard day, she is 8 months pregnant and it is hard to do all the chores and get the meals cooked perfectly.
After a long argument both Laura and Jon sit down on the couch exhausted. They both realize that if only they had a bit more money their lives would be so much easier…they start dreaming of the day when they will have enough money to have a nice house and a backyard etc. Suddenly the door swings open and a man in a black trench-coat walks in and puts a small black box on the table. Flipping open the cover, he reveals a small red button. Next to the box he places a briefcase containing 5 million dollars. “Just touch that red button”, he says, “and all that money is yours.” Jon reaches out to touch the button but he man grabs his hand. “Before you touch it you need to know that when you touch that button someone somewhere will die. But I can tell you that you do not know him nor do you have any idea who he is.” Still, Jon was ready to push the button but his wife made him stop. “You have till tomorrow to make a decision” said the man and he left, leaving the money and the box on their kitchen table.
The whole next day the couple sat debating. Jon used various arguments: He has to die sometime and we don’t even know him, people die everyday what difference does one more make…this money will solve all our problems!! Laura didn’t agree with any of the arguments and they fought back and forth and back and forth…by Laura was completely worn down. “Fine,” she said, “push the button.” Jon dove for the button and reached it with seconds to spare. As he pressed it the case opened and the money flew around the room. Jon and Laura jumped into the pile of cash laughing and knowing that they had nothing to worry about ever again.
Suddenly, the man burst into the room smiling. He picked up the box with the red button and turned to leave. Realizing what he was doing, Jon called after him, “Wait, where are you going with that?” “To someone else,” replied the man, “but I can promise you that he doesn’t know you nor does he have any idea who you are!!”
· What did you think of the story?
· What would you do in Laura’s situation?
· Who was more to blame, Jon or Laura?
· Have you ever been in a situation where someone tried to convince you to do something you knew was wrong?
· What did/should you do?