Gidon - Shoftim
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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Background: Gidon became the shofet of
Game 1: Jenga
Discussion: The story of Gidon begins similarly to how the story of Avraham began. (Ask the chanichim how that was.) An angel came and told him that he should lead the people against Midyan. He then went and destroyed his father’s alter to Ba’al. (Just like we did in Jenga). The people of the city came out and asked what happened. They were going to kill Gidon, but (and here the story is different than with Avraham) his father stepped in and defended him. Instead, the people decided to follow Gidon in a revolt, seeing that Ba’al was not protecting his alter.
Game 2: Pizza Shop
Choose five chanichim. Send for of them out of the room. Tell the first one that they must act something – buying a piece of pizza, for example, or playing football, something that takes a couple minutes. After #1 acts it out once, bring in the second person, and have #1 act it out again for #2. Then bring in the third person, and have #2 do it for #3, and so on. Finally, after the last person has acted it out, they must guess what is going on.
Make sure that at least one round is played acting out a scenario in which the person goes to get a drink of water. Perhaps tell them to act out being in class and asking to go get a drink from the water fountain.
Discussion: When Gidon set out for war, he had tens of thousands of troops. Hashem told him that this wasn’t good – he needed to have less. The reason was because Hashem wanted it to be obvious that they won because of His help, and not because of their own strength. First Gidon sent home everyone who was scared. 22,000 left, but 10,000 still stayed. So Hashem told him to take everyone down to the river for a drink. Whoever used their hands to scoop up water would leave, and only those who bent over and used their tongue to lick the water would remain. This left 300 soldiers, who Gidon went with to war.
Game 3: Marco Polo
Seat all the chanichim in a wide circle. Spread the chairs out so that they suggest a circumference, but aren’t necessarily close together. There should be a fair amount of room within the circle to move around. Choose one chanich and blindfold him or her. Instruct everyone that they cannot talk while the game is in progress, except to respond to the blindfolded person. The job of the blindfolded person is to catch the chanichim in the circle. S/he can yell “Marco” as often as s/he wishes, and every time this happens, all chanichim must respond by saying “Polo.” Using the sound of their voices, s/he must try and track them down to tag them.
The game can be played two ways: either the person must tag everyone, and whoever s/he gets last wins and is blindfolded next, or whenever someone is tagged they can become the new blindfolded person. The first method is probably better, but you will need to make the playing area smaller as the game continues.
Discussion: Gidon’s battle tactic was to make use of darkness and noise. He waited until night and took his 300 soldiers to surround the midyanim. He gave each one a shofar, a torch, and a jug. They spread out to surround the Midyan army, and at the same time they all started yelling, broke their jugs, blew their shofarim, and held up their torches. It seemed to the Midyanim that they were surrounded by a huge army, and they all fled. Once this happened, all of Gidon’s other soldiers rejoined the group and helped chase down the enemies.
During the battle, Gidon approached two cities and asked for bread. The cities were scared to help, in case Gidon would lose. Therefore, when the battle ended, Gidon came back and destroyed these two cities.Game 4 Ideas: If need be, you can play another game around the theme of sharing. We played Hot Potato two weeks ago, so maybe that’s not such a good one to use.