Parashat Para Aduma - פרשת פרה אדומה
Group Size: 10-30
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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Goal: To teach about Para Aduma
Noseh: Special Shabbatot
Topic: Parshat Para
Written By: Josh Skarf
Materials: Cards and clues for treasure hunt
Goal: To teach about Para Aduma
Background: In a few weeks, Parshat Ki Tisa, we read a special Maftir about Para Aduma. For this reason, that Shabbat is known as Parshat Para. We read from Bamidbar perek 19 about the laws of this purification process.
There are a number of things you need for a para aduma:
1) Pure Red cow, with no blemish, never been used to work.
2) Crimson Thread
all the above are burnt together
5) Kohen to kill is and sprinkle the blood 7 times towards the Beit HaMikdash
6) Tahor (pure) person to collect the ashes
7) Water to mix the ashes with
In this game we will simulate gathering together all the materials needed for the Para Aduma. This game will require a bit of preparation, and you will need to get to the Beit Keneset early to set up. Make 7 cards, each one with one of the 7 above things written on it. These seven cards should be hidden throughout the Beit Keneset. You will need to think of hiding spaces before Shabbat, so that you can write clues for where to find the next card. You will start the kids by giving them a clue. For example, if there is a place in shul where extra kipot are kept, you can tell them to go to a place where men go when they need to cover their head. In this case, the second card should be hidden in this location. On the back of that card, write the next clue. The final clue should tell them to return to the main room.
If your group is large, it may be a good idea to make two groups. You can use the same hiding spots, but perhaps change the orders around a bit so that they can’t just follow each other. Send a madrich with each group to make sure they don’t steal the other team’s cards.
Discussion: Today we don’t have any Para Aduma. This is for a number of reasons, mainly because we don’t have two crucial ingredients. (ask the kids which ones.) They are the red cow and the tahor person. However, there are theoretical ways to have a tahor person, and it is possible that one day a red cow will be born. A number of years ago, there was one born in
Game 2: Relay Race
This game should be quick and get out some energy, give the kids a chance to run more. Divide the kids into two groups. Have them race back and forth two from each team at a time. However, the catch is that in every pair, one person must carry the other. (so they should pair up ahead of time, and have a bigger and smaller person together.) If need be, the madrichim can also carry people.
Discussion: You can tell the chanichim now that if they were Parot Aduma, they would have just disqualified themselves from being kosher. A Para Aduma can never have been used for labor, so as the carrier has just done.
Game 3: Word Association
Sit in a circle. Start some sort of rhythm. Have the kids go around and do word association – start with one word and in turn, keeping with the beat, each one has to say something that reminds them of the previous word. Play a few rounds and then start one with the word “cow” and tell them to focus on Judaism. See if they can find other instances in Judaism that cows are significant. The goal is for someone to mention Chet HaEgel. Then you can talk about how we sinned with a cow and also purify ourselves with it. I don’t have a specific point to make here, I just thought it was good to point out. Another way to play this is to choose a category, (ie. Game shows) and play the same way, with whoever fails to name one on rhythm getting out.