Jewish Geography - çå÷ äãúééí äùìåáéí
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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This is the place!
Goal: For chevraya aleph, the goal is to familiarize them with some of the worldwide Jewish causes and to emphasize that we have a connection will all Jews all over the world. For Zach, the goal is to go a make the sicha a little deeper and debate the issues; how much should we be involved in causes halfway across the world when we have so many things to be involved in right near us at home?
Chevraya Aleph: The peula is divided into a running around game and a story, each with a sicha afterwards. Use either one or both.
Game: Capture the chanichim
This is like capture the flag, but without the flag. Divide the group into two teams. Each team, as in capture the flag, has its own territory in which its members are safe abut member of the opposite team can be caught if they are tagged. However, each team also has two prisons in two far corners of its territory. Each prison is given one of the following names:
When the game ends and everyone has calmed down, discuss how the kids in the prisons felt (alone, left out etc) Why did people risk being thrown in prison themselves just to save each other? They should answer “because we’re all on the same team” or “because we needed them to win the game”. Stress the point that they all wanted to help out people on their team even if they were far away and even if it posed a risk to them.
Discuss the names of the prisons- each one represents a place that has Jews in danger- (you can change the names of the prison to reflect events of the past also). We should feel a desire to help out our fellow Jew, whether they are in a place where they suffer from anti-Semitism, poverty, lack of Jewish education and identity and fighting in a war. Do we have an obligation to these Jews? Of course! They are all “on our team”. Because of the things we have in common- chagim, Torah etc, we are all one big team.
There once was a king so powerful and selfish that whenever he saw a little kid eating a pastry, he would snatch the pastry from the kid’s hands and eat it himself, often causing the kid to cry. Everything he saw, he wanted for himself, so he took it and locked it up in the castle. Eventually, there was no food left in the kingdom, because the king has locked it all up for himself. The people were starving, and no one had anything to eat. They wanted to approach the king, but were all too afraid. Eventually, an old fisherman came forward. “I am very old, and have nothing left to live for. I will go to the king”.
So they old fisherman went to the king and on behalf of the people, asked for food. The king just laughed and said:
“I am sorry people are starving. Well, actually, I’m not, just so long as my storehouses are stocked! The people must find a way to take care of themselves.”
“You are right, you Majesty” said the fisherman. “Instead of troubling yourself with such minor issues, why don’t you come with me to a place I know that has the most beautiful fish you have ever seen. You can take some and put them in the palace.”
The king, being one who liked beautiful things, jumped up to tjoin the fisherman. They rowed out to the middle of the sea, and the king anxiously looked over the sides of the boat for the beautiful fished. He couldn’t see anything, and turned to the fisherman to ask him where the fish were. When he looked up, he saw the fisherman with a drill in his hands, ready to drill a hole into the bottom of the boat. “What are you doing?” cried the king.
“I am old and no longer want to starve, so I’m going to drill a hole and drown myself,” said the fisherman. “But what about me?!” cried the king. “I don’t wish to for you to die, so I’m going to drill the hole on my side of the boat only,” said the fisherman.
The king looked at the old fisherman, smiled and said “I got the point. Now let’s go back to shore so I can feed the starving people in my kingdom.”
Can you sink half a boat? What would have happened had the fisherman drilled the hole? What was the lesson learned at the end?
Talk about the idea. Teach them the expression of “all being in the same boat”, meaning we’re all in the same situation, and can either sink or swim together. We are not only responsible for each other, but if one of us suffers, we all suffer. Who is in the “same boat” as the chanichim?
Ask them to name places Jews live. Prompt them. Have them call out names of places…there are Jews all over the world. Despite that, is it possible to say that all Jews are in the same boat?
Hashem cares about Jews all over the world,equally. Since we are all loved equally by Hashem, and we’re all on the same team, we all have the same goal as a nation. So we have to take care of each other and work together towards making the world a better place, saving the dolphins etc. (Just kidding about the dolphins)