Or Lagoyim- “a Light To The Nations” - àåø ìâåééí
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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- To begin to teach the meaning of the term Or lagoyim= the Jewish people as a nation have an obligation to act together in a way that presents the positive lessons of Judaism such as compassion, justice and charity (the qualities we learn from Avraham Avinu and sefer bresihit). We do this so that to make the world a better place
- To teach the chanichim/ot that by working together as a group (as a nation) one can have a greater influence and impact than by acting alone.
- Have the kids sit in a circle, ask if anyone in the group knows what Or Lagoyim means and get various suggestions. Make sure the kids know what the individual words Or (light) and Goyim (nations) mean but do not necessarily tell them what the concept is. Tell the chanichim that they are now going to play a game that illustrates the idea.
- Games: first, play tug of war with only two kids on each side. Gradually add kids to each side. At the end of the game, ask the kids when they were the strongest (when there were more people). Explain that when more people work together, they are stronger…
Game two: First divide the kids into 2 groups 1. the “performers” 2. “the audience”. Tell the performers that their job is to convince the audience to join them on stage doing whatever they are doing. Give the performers something to do- eg. Jumping jacks, cartwheels, rubbing their stomach and patting their head.
They have to be creative and convince the audience to join them.
It’s not always easy to get people to do something that might seem silly. There are all kinds of pressure, not wanting to look foolish, it’s not cool. But it’s different when you’re talking about something that will benefit everyone. The concept of being an Or Lagoyim is to demonstrate positive behavior to the world at large. Like in the game follow the leader, or the story of the pied piper, people will naturally follow someone who represents positive attributes. The sad part is that they will follow someone with negative attributes too, so it is up to us, with the Torah as our guide, to spread positive and not negative values.
Grades 4-8- Zach
Goal: Same as above
Tell the whole group that they have been given a mission. Do a whole skit about it, Mission Impossible style. They are responsible for creating a perfect society. Divide the kids into groups of four. Tell each group that they must come up with rules and ways to enforce them. Each rule must reflect some value that is important to the society and the punishment for breaking the rule must also be ethical. Tell the kids they have 15 minutes to do this. After 15 minutes, all the groups will one by one present their rules. After they do this the madrichim should get up and act out a violation of the rule and the kids should try and stop them by using the punishment they thought of.
This should be quick as the kids have all just presented. Ask the kids why they made up each rule. Have the kids discuss the difficulty of enforcing the rues and creating the model society and then talk to them about even with these difficulties why it’s important for Jewish people to create a society that reflects the high moral standards of truth, honesty, compassion and justice that Judaism teaches that is a model for and influence all the nations of the world.