Asara B'tevet - The Seige On Yerushalayim
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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This is the place!
Asara betevet – the siege!!
Theme: asara betevet
Topic: the siege on tyerushalayim
Written by: Naomi Rosenblatt, Cleveland
Age: taf (1-3)
Goals: to teach the chanichim all about Asara B'Tevet.
Stage 1: getting into the mood
one of the madrichim who is REALLY up to the challenge needs to become an army sergeant. Example: (shouted) "My name is Naomi, but you WILL call me Sergeant or Mam, and you will follow my orders EXACTLY in order to train for a very important mission." If they giggle and say, "yeah right", STAY in the act. Say "All right, if that's your attitude, give me three pushups!!!!" Then get them all active: pushups, run from one side of the rooms to another, crawl like snakes on the floor, jump up then down over and over.... keep this going for as long as you can without them rebelling completely.
Stage 2: protecting yerushalayim
give them their mission: they must defend Yerushalayim from the invading Babylonians that have been threatening to attack the city. (which will be represented by something unstable in the center of the room... such as a stack of cups). Now, here's the dilemma: now that they are trained, the sergeant's job is over. ON THEIR OWN, they must come up with one leader, split themselves into different groups (gate guards, archers, spies, etc.), and come up with strategy. Now, we all know that this won't work and they won't be able to work together -- but that's the idea!!!
When we see that it isn't working, the madrichim take that moment to attack, without warning. One runs in and knocks over the stack of cups or whatever yerushalayim is, and the other two take a "prisoner" or two. They'll probably go nuts, so let them go nuts for a minute or two, then calm them down.
Explain that sinat chinam and the inability to work together was the downfall of of yerushalayim and Mamlechet yisrael.
An extra game: play "I'm going to galut and I'm taking with me..." explain at the end that even though asara b'tevet was 2000 years ago, it is still important to remember and commemorate!