Chafetz Chaim -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 8-12
Group Size: 10-45
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal

Goals: Teach about the Mussar Movement, Lashon Hara, the Chafetz Chaim, and some of his books.


Required Props & Materials

Materials: A number of various-sized objects for passing game; Taboo Cards


Resource Contents

Noseh: Acharonim

Topic: Chafetz Chaim

Written By: Josh Skarf

Goals: Teach about the Mussar Movement, Lashon Hara, the Chafetz Chaim, and some of his books.

Materials: A number of various-sized objects for passing game; Taboo Cards

Background: The Mussar Movement was founded by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter in the 1850s. Mussar is traditional Jewish ethics. He taught that one must spend time each day analyzing his actions. This, he felt, would deepen the religious commitment and value system of Jews individually and the Jewish community generally. One of the main books of this movement was Mesilat Yesharim by Ramchal, who we discussed three weeks ago. To advance mussar, he proposed that more mussar books be printed and distributed, that mussar lectures should be given regularly, and that special mussar houses be set up in communities.

The Mussar Movement continued to grow until the end of the 1800s, when it was becoming widely accepted. One man who strengthened it was Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaCohen Kagan, better known as the Chafetz Chaim, after his most famous book of that title. This book was on the subject of Lashon Hara and other laws of Shmirat HaLashon. He raised issues with newspapers, speech, and other forms of communication. In addition to this book, he published a number of pamphlets concerning the halachot of serving in the Czars army, raised issues involving women in the modernizing world, about hygiene, welfare, and public charity. Finally, he also composed the Mishna Berura, a six-volume set covering the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, which teaches all everyday laws. Both Chafetz Chaim and the Mishna Berura are widely studied today.

Game 1: Guess the Leader[1]

One player is chosen to leave the room. Another player is chosen to be the leader, and s/he is to make various motions (in a steady beat). Examples: patting the head, clapping ,snapping fingers, stanping the floor, etc. Everyone must follow the leaders different motions. The player returns and has three tries to guess who the leader is. Remind the chanichim not to look directly at the leader, or else it will be easy to figure who the leader is.

Discussion: In this game we all watched the leaders motions and copied them. In Judaism in the 1850s, a new movement started to get people to start watching their own actions more carefully. This movement was called the mussar movement. Books, such as Mesilat Yesharim by Ramchal, which we talked about three weeks ago, were studied and used to get people to think more about their behavior and actions. Big Tzaddikim would also give lectures to others telling them the best way to improve their behavior. The head of this movement was Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. Since we discussed this a few weeks ago, this should be a bit of a review.

Game 2: Pizza Shop

Pick four contestants. Send three out and have one stay in. Pick some sort of scene for that person to act out. Have him do so once for the audience alone. Then bring in contestant #2. #1 must act it out for #2. Then bring in the third and have the second act it out for the him, etc. The fourth person, after acting it out once more for the crowd, must guess what the scene is.

Some ideas: riding a bus, changing a diaper, making breakfast, going to shul

Discussion: In this game, as things progress the story becomes more corrupted. Stories tend to work this way. That is one reason why Lashon Hara is so bad by gossiping so much you spread stories that may or may not be true. Even if it is true, the story could be corrupted. As the Mussar Movement grew more popular, one rabbi emerged as a leading figure: Yisrael Meir HaCohen Kagan, better known as the Chafetz Chaim, after his book of that title. Chafetz Chaim was written on the subject of Lashon Hara, a subject which had previously not received proper attention. The Chafetz Chaim felt that people were overly lax in this important halacha, and therefore decided to write his mussar book on it, in hopes of improving the situation.

Game 3: Taboo

The game of Taboo is commonly known. Pick one contestant to give clues. He will be given a pile of cards. On each card is one word, which he tries to get everyone else to say. However, there are also a number of other words on the card which cannot be said: the taboo words. However, if during the course of guessing someone mentions one of these words, it can then be used. Give each clue giver a few minutes to give clues. Whenever someone gets one right, that person gets the card. Whoever has the most cards after a few minutes gets to be the next clue-giver. Make sure to cut out cards before Shabbat. If you have a copy of the game, you can bring in your own cards to use.

Discussion: To further emphasize the importance of learning the laws of Lashon Hara, a short story: Once someone told the Chafetz Chaim that they did not want to learn his book because they thought that afterwards they would not ever be able to say anything or tell any stories at all. The Chafetz Chaim responded that if one did NOT learn his book, then he should fear ever talking, since he wouldnt know what is permitted to say and what is not. Once you learn the laws, then you can confidently know what is permissible to say. This is similar to our game, in which there are things that we know are permissible to say, as well as some which are certainly not.

Game 4: Pass it On[2]

The entire group forms a circle. Everyone is given an object of any shape or size, be they bowling balls, garbage cans, shoes, or marbles. At a signal, everyone passes her or his object to the person on her or his right, keeping the objects moving at all times. When a person drops any object, he or she is out, but the object remains in. As the game progresses and more people get out, it becomes harder and harder to stay avoid dropping an object. The winner is the last person left in the game.

Discussion: In this game we try to keep things moving regularly, despite the fact that more and more things accumulate and need to be passed it becomes increasingly hard to manage all the things in play. Similarly, Halacha becomes more complex every year, as new problems come up and new commentaries are written. In the 1500s the Shulchan Aruch was written to try and be a comprehensive authority on all of Halacha. However, in the years following its publishing, many commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch itself were written, and it became much harder to understand and learn all these commentaries in order to judge what halacha all1ne thing that the Chafetz Chaim did was write a set of 6 books called the Mishna Berura, which gathered together all the commentaries on one of the four sections of the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, which deals with all everyday halacha. This set of books is one of the most basic sefarim found in very many Jewish households today, because of the ease in which it can be used and its very comprehensive nature.

Mifkad:

At Mifkad, it might be a good idea to do a quick review of the last month in snif, as the subjects were a little bit more factual and specific than normal. One idea is to make some cards, some with the names of the rabbis weve learnt about, and others with things related to them, and have the chanichim match them up during mifkad. Some ideas: Chafetz Chaim + Lashon Hara; Rabbi Yisrael Salanter + Mussar Movement; Vilna Gaon + Mitnagdut; Baal Shem Tov + Chasidut; Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch + Torah Im Derech Eretz; Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato + Mesilat Yesharim; Rabbi Yakov Emden + Anti-Shabbtai Zvi;

POODLE

French

Dog

Toy

Fifi

Skirt

DEAD END

Street

Exit

Road

No

Stop

SPIDER

Eight

Legs

Insect

Black Widow

Web

VIDEO

Television

Cassette

VCR

Blockbuster

Movie

ATTIC

Cellar

Roof

House

Storage

Room

GEORGE W. BUSH

President

Shrub

Texas

White House

Oval Office

MAGICIAN

Trick

Rabbit

Disappear

Copperfield

Abracadabra

WISH

Hope

Want

Make

Star

Genie

SANDBOX

Children

Kids

Play

Dirt

Dig

AMERICA ONLINE

Internet

Server

Web

Email

Computer

ADVENTURE

Exciting

Journey

Mission

Expedition

Safari

MONOPOLY

Game

Boardwalk

Hotels

Exclusive

Jail

MICHAEL JORDAN

Chicago

Bulls

Basketball

Air

Nike

POCKET

Watch

Hands

Pants

Trousers

Pool Table

MINUTES

Sixty

Seconds

Hours

Time

Meeting

APPLAUSE

Cheers

Clapping

Ovation

Perform

Hand

SNOWMAN

Frosty

Abominable

Build

Winter

Make

LULLABY

Baby

Sleep

Cradle

Sing

Rock

BABOON

Monkey

Africa

Jungle

Ape

Primate

MOUSE

Mickey

Minnie

Rat

Rodent

Trap

CALIFORNIA

Movies

Los Angelas

San Francisco

Hollywood

State

WHISPER

Speak

Softly

Ear

Sound

Shout

THUNDER

Lightning

Storm

Sound

Clap

Thighs

MAILMAN

Letters

Deliver

Package

Postal

Envelope

HERO

Admire

Saves

Sports

Life

Brave

CELL PHONE

Portable

Cordless

Flip

Remote

Satellite

KETCHUP

Mustard

Relish

Tomato

Condiment

French Fries

VACATION

Trip

Work

Away

Summer

Travel

HARMONICA

Mouth

Blow

Music

Play

Instrument

FENCE

Picket

Chain

Sword

Barbed

Barricade

SMILE

Mouth

Face

Candid

Grin

Lips

GLOVE

Hand

Mitten

Fingers

Cold

Baseball

ARROW

Bow

Archery

William Tell

Indian

Cupid

REPAIR

Fix

Mend

Broken

Glue

Builder

HOPSCOTCH

Chalk

Sidewalk

Driveway

Numbers

Jump

TONSILS

Throat

Operation

Ice Cream

Removed

Surgery

METAL

Steel

Iron

Aluminum

Copper

Detector

SEESAW

Up

Down

Sit

Playground

Teeter-Totter

THERMOMETER

Fever

Mouth

Hot

Cold

Temperature

STOP

Sign

Go

Halt

Light

Watch

SUBMARINE

Underwater

Periscope

Yellow

Torpedo

Boat

EMAIL

Computer

AOL

Send

Message

Internet

BAND-AID

Gauze

Cover

Boo-Boo

Cut

Plastic

PHONE BOOTH

Superman

Call

Touch-tone

Talk

Street

WHITE HOUSE

President

Washington

Pennsylvania Ave.

Home

Oval Office

FIGHT

Battle

Argument

Boxing

Fist

Bull

POPCORN

Kernels

Puffed

Orville Redenbauchers

Movies

Butter

SWIM

Water

Pool

Stroke

Beach

Suit

BREEZE

Wind

Light

Gentle

Air

Gust

PICNIC

Basket

Ants

Outside

Eat

Food

PAJAMAS

Nightgown

Sleepwear

Bathrobe

Clothing

Bed

MILLIONAIRE

Money

Wealthy

Rich

Lottery

Dollars

SEED
Plant

Garden

Sow

Sunflower

Poppy

FORTUNE COOKIE

Advice

Message

Chinese

Restaurant

Predict

GRAND SLAM

Homerun

Bases

Baseball

Hit

Score

DIG

Shovel

Dirt

Excavate

Trowel

Hole

RADIO

Music

AM/FM

Stereo

Listen

DJ

TOOTH FAIRY

Bed

Pillow

Money

Make-Believe

Night

WEDDING

Marriage

Bride

Groom

Chupa

Reception

SCHOOL BUS

Children

Yellow

Pick Up

Vehicle

Kids

PUPPET

Strings

Finger

Toy

Wooden

Pinocchio

REWARD

Payment

Money

Arrest

Prize

Wanted

HOMER SIMPSON

Springfield

Television

Marge

Bart

Cartoon

BLINK

Wink

Eye

Shut

Open

Lid

CAGE

Nicholas

Bars

Animals

Zoo

Circus

DIAPER

Smelly

Cloth

Disposable

Baby

Rash

DAMAGE

Destroy

Break

Fire

Crush

Ruin

TUXEDO

Wedding

Jacket

Rent

Wear

Fancy

RECYCLE

Use

Bin

Waste

Cans

Papers

PUDDLE

Rain

Water

Ground

Splash

Wet

AUTUMN

Fall

Season

Leaves

Winter

Summer

JOKE

Practical

Punch Line

Comedian

Laugh

Funny

DR. SEUSS

Cat

Grinch

Eggs

Stories

Children

SUNSCREEN

Block

Burn

Protection

SPF

Tan

NOTEBOOK

Write

Subject

School

Lined

Paper

SPONGE

Absorb

Soak

Bath

Water

Wash

SANDPAPER

File

Rough

Smooth

Wood

Gritty

CROCODILE

Alligator

Lizard

Captain Hook

Everglades

Dundee

JUDGE

Court

Robe

Trial

Sits

Decide

SHADOW

Sunlight

Shade

Eye

Casts

Me



[1] Matanky, Lenny. Shabbat Games. P. 79

[2] Rice, Wayne and Yaconelli, Mike. Creative Resources for Youth Ministry. P.61



Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Games > Social Games

» All > History > General

» All > Judaism > Keeping Mitzvot

» All > Torah > Halacha

» All > People in Bnei Akiva > Acharonim

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