Israel Murder Mystery -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 6-8
Group Size: 15-60
Estimated Time: 90 minutes

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Resource Goal
get the chanichim excited and a bit learned about Israels history

Required Props & Materials
story attached, a map of Israel, sheets with names of places, someone playing Professor Zman in disguise

Resource Contents

Israel Murder Mystery

Written by: Naomi Rosenblatt and Netanel Afek, Cleveland

Age: Taf (1-3)

Goals: get the chanichim excited and a bit learned about Israels history

Tools: story attached, a map of Israel, sheets with names of places, someone playing Professor Zman in disguise

Suitable for Shabbat

Preparation set the scenario up, then read aloud the clues as they come up. They have to figure out where the clue leads to, and locate that city/place on a map. Then maybe we can talk a little about that place, then go on to the next clue.

The story: Israel's leading scientist, (in an israeli accent) Prrrrofessorrrrr Zman, has gone missing. Israel relies on the professor for important advancements in military technology, medicine, etc. In other words, he is an valuable part of Israeli society! We have a suspicion that his latest invention, a time machine, is related to his dissappearance. We need to track him down in Israeli history!!!!!

Prrrrofessorrr Zman was also a big fan of Israeli history. He had a huge, famous collection of diaries from Israeli history. As he travels through history, it appears as though he keeps dropping pages from these diaries, which serve as good clues as to where hes gone but, the last word, which happened to be the city hes going to, got erased in all the clues! Now, we just have to figure them out (dont worry its taf. They wont make too much of a fuss if things dont match up).

So the game goes like this: each madrich will have a clue to say (read out) and hopefully a city to explain. If you dont want to do the explanation, then someone else could do it. We could switch off in doing the interphases and telling of how we find the clues, but one person must have all the lines of the professor-in-disguise. Basically were all one group of adventurers who are looking throughout time where, in time, is carmen sandiego. We have to be confident, and in an adventure spirit to get the kids involved and excited about the thing.

In his lab, we found our first clue:

1) We (me and my 11 sons) are going on a trip this week to visit Avraham and Sara, Yitzchak and Rivka, No, they're not alive! We're going to visit Ma'arat Hamachpelah in (Chevron)

where do you think that is? And more importantly when do you think that is? I wonder why the professor would go there it seems kind of off the path, doesnt it?

Well, we reached chevron, and we go around and see (explanation). The professor-in-disguise tells everyone that its interesting that esavs head is also buried in Mearat HaMachpela (elaborate?)

Suddenly, on the very steps of Mearat HaMachpela, we found the following note:

2) We are in the desert up on a high place. We just heard from a messanger that snuck in that Yerushalayim gell to the romans we trust hashem, but were also very afraid. Our leader Mordechai ben Yair is deep in thought. The Romans are surrounding us and they are getting closer and closer. We don't want to surrender because then we'll be their slaves and our Jewish identities will be lost. As long as were alive, we will never give up... (Masada)

(help them figure it out give them extra clues: this place is a city built upon a mountain in the desert; tell them its a very popular tourism sight our days; with no hope, givethem the letters, or start out the word) wow. That feels inspiring. But why would the professor come here? Here of all the places (explanation). The professor-in-disguie explains how the massada people trusted the wind to be in their aid, to blow the fire onto the big tower the Romans built, but the wind was against them and their whole wall was burned down.

When we looked deep into the big water pools, we found the following note near the wall:

3) Its been many long months many tiring, desperate months spent pushing back the swamps and fighting malaria. But finally, we have something that we can be proud of the first kibbutz in Eretz Yisrael. Were working the land in (Dgania kibbutz)

(they will probably need to be told that its Dgania, but its good enough if they get its a kibbutz). That was a leap of close to two thousand years right there. Do you know why this leap happened? (because the land of Israel was desolate for all that time). You know what the chalutzim did, right? (have them tell you, or you tell them). The professor-in-disguise explains how the malaria were not a disease they were mosquitos who transferred diseases, and thats why they were so dangerous they could carry even life-threatening ills!

It took us a long time to climb the huge eucalyptus trees, but when we finally we made it, we saw this note hanging on to a branch:

4) We settled the land and started to work it after many years of no growth, but theres no water! Were getting so thirsty! Its so hard to work the land, when theres no water. I hope someone named David Ben-Gurion would come up with some kind of an idea to bring water to the middle of the desert - and actually bring us some water! We cant continue like this, here in (Beer Sheva)

I remember some group in Bnei Akiva Cleveland being about shortage of water, and bringing water to the Negev? (they get its beer sheva) but I dont get it. Didnt the professor just visit a chalutzim sight? Whats going on here? The profeesor-in-disguise points out that indeed, David Ben Gurion helped bring the water to beer sheva, but he also encourage people to settle and flourish the negev, and went and lived there himself.

Walking around the beautiful chalutzim settlement, we happened upon a new-opened well, that seemed to be some 3000 years old well, instead of a bucket, there was a note attached to the rope:

5) All I wanted was to get into Eretz Yisrael the land of the Jewish people. Instead, the British caught me and the others on the boat trying to sneak past the border. Now, Im stuck in this awful prison with bunch of other leaders of the underground defense forces. I wish we could finally get the State of Israel, and I can leave this infamous prison of (Acco)

(they would probably not guess Acco specifically, but lead them to say that it is a port city).

-1) So wait, settling the land wasnt enough?

-2) Of course not, you had to get people to live in the land of their fathers!

-1) and thats why the maapilim were so important to everyone they were the hope of the yishuv (Jewish settlement) to gain a majority in Israel.

(explanation about Acco). The professor-in-disguise says that if the British caught a ship of maapilim, they would either jail them in Israel, in Acco, or in Cyprus!

Walking around in Acco was pretty depressing, seeing the prison and all, but hearing the talk on the streets about Jewish pride and Jewish control over Israel made us all feel much better. On the gate of the prison, we saw a note: 

6) I walked across the beach, expecting to see many people in the streets and clubs since it is the party city. However, I didnt see anyone; the streets were empty, and the fading sound of radios was heard from the homes all around. Then I remembered today is the day the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE will be declared by David Ben-Gurion. I rushed to independence hall in the very middle of (Tel Aviv)

So lets see: what city has a beach, clubs, many people to walk around in it, is called the party city and hosted the declaration of independence? Exactly right! (explanation of how Tel Aviv was the first real city of Israel, and how exciting it was for everyone to hear David Ben Gurion declare their independence imagine your father declaring you are free. Wouldnt you listen carefully to every word?) the professor-in-disguise says that Tel Aviv was originally not even called Tel Aviv it was called Achuzat Bait (home inheritance)!

On the wall in independence hall we saw a great picture of the ceremony taking place, with Ben Gurion standing, and a portrait of Hertzl in his back. Exactly behind hertzls portrait in the picture, we found a note that said the following:

7) Here we are, trapped in our settlement, fighting against the Arabs. We are expecting our supplies from Yerushalayim soon Yerushalayim is so close, and yet so far away I can see it in the distance, yet in this bloody war, I realize that it is virtually impossible for help to arrive at our isolated block of settlements named (Gush Etzion)

(elaborate a bit more about the clues and about the isolated section of Yerushalayim)

Gush Etzion stood alone during the independence war, and before and after it. It eventually fell to the Arabs. (explanation of whats there, what was unique about its gush atmosphere). The professor-in-disguise notes that the Gush is not just one kibbutz it consists of at least 6 major kibbutzim, and it has a cemetery, a yeshiva and stuff like that as well.

The beautiful environment almost made us forget what terrible battle overcame this place just couple of hours ago. When we looked at houses, they looked dark and burnt, but we couldnt tell for sure we figured it was only logical for the professor to come here after the declaration of independence since this was one of the results the war of independence.

We kept walking around, until soon enough we picked up this note off the ground:

8) We have to go into this city, which is old and holy. We have to fight in the six day war. We will win the war and go to pray at an old wall which symbolizes the strength of the Jewish people! we must go in and free (Yerushalayim)

Yerushalayim! We finally made it to our capital city, and our most beloved and dear city of all the holy cities. (explanation about what the six day war accomplished in Jerusalem). The professor-in-disguise surprises us all by saying that he remembers when he was young, he used to go play in the sand-boxes in yerushalayim, and that no sand was better than that sand!

- #) Wait, you lived in Jerusalem when you were young? I thought you were born here in (whatever city youre in)?

- Professor-in-disguise) Yes no- I mean, yes I would have liked to grow up in Jeruslaem.

- #) Aha.

As we ran towards the kotel with all the paratroopers who liberated the city, we found a note attached to one of the roofs! We had to stop and read it, and this is what it said:

9) I have just heard about a SPECTACULAR Israel shabbat taking place in (Name your city)! I want to go check it out, and see how much the people there have learned about Israeli history. Signed, Prrrrofessorrrrrr Zman

At this point, we get all excited. We look around and say, Oh my gosh, where is he? That clue means that hes here! Wheres professor zman? more excitement, get kids off their feat, start looking everywhere, under your shoes, behind sofas, under carpets, everywhere. When we start looking around at people, we ask the kids who they think is the professor. Hopefully with enough time (if it takes more than a minute, than just do it without their guess) theyll guess it. Then _____ jumps out (whoever had the professor lines throughout the whole thing), with a costume/sign indicating that he is the professor. We all get excited!!!!

CONCLUSION: Remember to wrap up the peula by asking the chanichim what the connection was between the different steps. It was all basically part of israeli history, but it also symbolized almost each aspect about the society of Israel find out (together with the chanichim) what values and morals each event/place has to teach us.

Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Eretz Yisrael > General

» All > Eretz Yisrael > Places in Israel > General

» All > History > General

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