Kiddush And Chillul Hashem In Our Lives
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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Teach about Kiddush and Chillul Hashem in public. Teach about Mesirat Nefesh in Tzahal as a Kiddush Hashem
Background: As the last snif in our unit about Kiddush Hashem, we will talk about Kiddush Hashem today, and how it comes up most often in our lives. Every chanich has probably heard the Kiddush Hashem speech dozens of times. Before any trip, someone gets up and reminds the chanichim that they are representing Jews everywhere, and should try to make a Kiddush Hashem by behaving well and not embarrassingly. We will explore how this is a Kiddush Hashem.
Game 1: Simon Says
Have all the players stand up. The leader stands in front of the group and gives commands (i.e. lift a foot, touch your head). The leader himself obeys all the commands, but the others are only to obey the command when it is preceded by “Simon Says” (or Shimon Omer). Anyone who obeys a command without this prefix is out. Some good ways to get people out: Give commands quickly, ask someone their name, ask the group to spread out a bit so there is more room, tell the group to gather around, and especially give a command and do a potion that does not match. (For example, say “touch your ears” and you touch your shoulders.)
Discussion: When the caller in Simon Says does a good job, it’s very hard to follow his or her directions. Often the caller is misleading. Especially difficult is when the caller acts one way but tells you to do something else. This is true in life as well. The Jewish people are supposed to be leaders for the rest of the world. When we do mitzvot, we are teaching everyone else what is right and what is wrong, we are showing them how society should be set up. However, as any good teacher, madrich, parent, etc. will tell you, if you tell someone to do something, but you yourself are not doing it, they are much less likely to do it. For example, if your madrichim tell you to be quiet during tefila, but they are talking, you probably won’t listen to them. This is one reason why it is so important for us to follow mitzvot and not make a chillul Hashem when we go on trips or are in public – if we aren’t behaving properly, how can we expect to teach the rest of the world?
A Little More Background: Some of the kids might ask you whether we want everyone in the world to keep halacha and do all the mitzvot. The answer is no – only Am Yisrael is supposed to keep the torah. But what we do want is for everyone to live moral and ethical lives, and this is what they can learn from watching our behavior and the halachic society we set up. You don’t have to go into this with the kids, I just thought I’d add it in case it comes up.
Game 2: Madrich for the Peula
Ask the chanichim if anyone has a brand new game they would like to teach the rest of the group. Pick only one person, and let him or her know that she is the madrich for this game. S/he must teach the game, set people up, and enforce the rules. Make sure you don’t let things get out of control and that you end the game before everyone gets annoyed.
Discussion: This game should bring up some of the points in the last discussion section, as per hadracha. Ask the group – did the “Madrich for the Peula” do a good job showing you how to play the game? How does this tie in to what we just talked about?
Game 3: Machanayim
This is a version of Machanayim, a classic Bnei Akiva game that we don’t play much anymore. Divide the kvutza into two teams, and split the room in half. However, the spaces directly at the two ends of the room are left empty. Throw a few balls into play. The game is similar to dodgeball, in that you must try and throw balls at opponents to get them out. If someone is hit below the head they are out. If someone’s throw is caught by an opponent, they are out. However, the difference between Machanayim and dodgeball is that when you get out in Machanayim, instead of not being part of the game, you go behind your opponent’s line, at the end of the room opposite your own team. This is important because only balls that have been “activated” are eligible for use in getting others out. The way a ball is activated is if someone from behind your opponent’s line picks up the ball and throws it over their heads back to your team without it hitting the ground. Once this is done, that ball can be thrown. But as soon as it hits the ball, it needs reactivation. Therefore, we start with one volunteer behind the enemy’s line, but more join as the game gets going. When one team runs out of live players, the other team wins.
Discussion: Players on the team may find that it is important to have a number of people behind enemy lines, in which case they may choose to let themselves get out. Another example of Kiddush Hashem that goes on today is when someone in Tzahal must give themselves up so that the rest of the country can live freely. Unfortunately this has been happening a great deal recently, but every time a member of Tzahal dies in combat in