Israel's Water Crisis -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 12-15
Group Size: 20-40
Estimated Time: 60 minutes

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Resource Goal

Discuss Israels water crisis: the beauty behind Am Yisraels dependency on Hashem for rain and how we must do our part too.

Required Props & Materials
one cup per chanich, (candy), one spoon, and sand/salt

Resource Contents

Israels water crisis

Written By: Aliza Jesin [used in Camp Stone Moshevet Moreshet Avot]

Goals: Discuss Israels water crisis: the beauty behind Am Yisraels dependency on Hashem for rain and how we must do our part too.

Materials: one cup per chanich, (candy), one spoon, and sand/salt

Age: Chevraya Zach, Bet

Suitable for Shabbat

Game #1

Fill one cup with sand. Have the chanichim stand in a line, each holding a cup. The point is to distribute the sand evenly between all the chanichim. However, no one may step out of line. The person at the front of the line gets the cup filled with sand. He or she must pour some sand into the next chanichs cup and they pore into the next etc

Game #2: Deep but not Profound

Have the chanichim sit in a circle. You start by saying deep but not profound or spoon but not fork, or any other coupled words where the first word has a double letter and the second does not. Some examples: sleep but not nap, foot but not toe, funny but not hysterical. Then go around the circle, and without explaining the rules the chanichim have to give coupled words too. If they are correct (i.e., the first word has a double letter and the second does not) they may stay in the game and receive a candy. However, if they are wrong they must move out of the circle.

Game #2 with a twist: The Moon Is

Pass a spoon around the circle. Each person, when holding the spoon, must describe the moon by saying, The moon is _______. Then you must determine if they are correct. The classic way to be correct is to start your description by first thanking the person who passed the moon to you. However, you can make up any pattern you would like. For example, the discribing word may have to start in order of the alphabet, or spell out something like Eidah Gimmel. Now heres the twist. Before the game starts you will tell half the chanichim what the pattern is (and not to make it obvious to the other half). Again, those who get it right, even the ones who know the pattern get to stay in and get a reward. Those who get it wrong, even if they know the pattern get kicked out of the circle.

The Story (please embellish and make it your own):

There once was a great king. He owned much land, and was quite wealthy. This king had two sons. Lets call them Alexander and William. The king also had two ways of dealing with his sons requests. Whenever Alexander wanted anything, he got it. He had his own credit card to his fathers account, so he never had to ask for permission before going on a shopping spree. From clothes, to computers, to airplanes, Alexander got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

With William, it was a totally different story. Whenever William wanted anything he had to first ask his father. This meant that William met with his father at least once a day if not more. And whenever he came to ask for something, they would end up chatting. William would fill the king in on what was going on in his life. And because he has to ask before he got anything, he had to explain why he wanted it. This meant that the king could give his son advice on the matter and tell him if it was a good idea or not. William learned many life lessons from his father and these discussions. However, this also meant that William didnt always get what he wanted.

Discussion: Which set up would you rather? Alexanders or Williams?

Based on their answers remind them that although Alexander got everything he wanted, sometimes it wasnt for his best because there was no one to monitor him. For example, he may buy all the chocolate he wants, but he will also get very sick if he eats it all.

William didnt get everything he wanted. However, he was being monitored by someone older and wiser who loved him and therefore made sure that William didnt get anything that would be bad for him. Also, William was able to create a relationship with his father, his supporter.

The Conclusion:

In the midbar, we had a set-up like Alexander. When it came to needing water, we were given the miraculous beer Miriam. Once we got the beer, we always had water.

But since we got to Israel, Am Yisrael has a set up like William. When Hashem was choosing a country for His nation, He could have given them any country. He could have given them Egypt, which has the Nile to support all its water needs. He could have given them Canada, a country that has so much fresh water they may start shipping it to the USA. But instead Hashem gave Bnei Yisrael Israel: a country that has very little water and a large part of it is too salty to use for anything. A country where rain is scarce. Why did Hashem give us such a hard land to live in? A land where its very hard to be a farmer, wash your clothes, or take a bath in luxury without feeling bad?

If Hashem had given us the Nile, given us Egypt, we would have been like Alexander. We wouldnt need to ask for rain, we would have the Nile to fulfill all our needs. We would have been like Alexander and never see our Father. The Alexander set-up was ok when we were in the midbar, because we had a much closer connection to Hashem. We saw miracles all the time: we were led by clouds and fire, had manna fall everyday, and even the water situation was different than in Egypt because the beer wasnt natural. We couldnt ignore the fact that the water came from Hashem. But that set-up couldnt last forever.

Today, we are in Israel. We are like William. We constantly have to ask our Father, Hashem, for what we want. When we want rain, we need to beg and pray, sometimes even fast. This means we create a connection, a relationship with Hashem. This also means we are being monitored, by something greater and wiser who gives us what we need (but not always what we want).

How do we get rain in Israel? What does it say in Shema? (See if anyone can quote you the pasuk). If you follow the mitzvot Hashem will make sure there is rain and that the land will grow. This strengthens our relationship with Hashem. And if we dont follow the mitzvot, we get kicked out.

When we played our pattern games, when we didnt know what would keep us in and what would get us kicked out, it was frustrating. But when we knew the pattern we were careful to follow the rules so we could stay in. This is the situation we have with Israel. We know the rules to stay in Israel and get rain. Those rules are to keep the Torah and Mitzvot.

Even so, when rain is scarce, we still have to divide it equally. We need to make sure everyone gets some water. Just like when pouring the sand, people probably overestimated how much there was, and the front people had way more than the end people did. We must be careful with our water use. Everywhere, but especially in Israel, we must be considerate and conserve our water. We must rely on Hashem but we must also do our part.

Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Eretz Yisrael > The Holiness of Israel

» All > Eretz Yisrael > General

» All > Current Events > General

» All > Jewish Holidays > Cheshvan

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