Method: By getting the kids to live through the challenges of the times leading up to Joshua's leadership and during his leadership. The activities they do will be voting in a leader, debating on the right course of action, a mock attack on yericho and a race to write down the 10 commandments.
· 10 A4 sheets with numbers 1-10, titled “The Ten Commandments”
· Big heavy awkward object labelled “Burden of Leadership” (to be decided, probably a chair or 2 from bnei rooms)
Part 1: Icebreaker game of “sheep”, leads into game: (20-30 mins) Skit and involving the chanichim: Benny is acting as moshe. We lead the kids out of the bnei rooms, single file, all around the center, copying events from the Exodus: splitting of the red sea, manna from heaven, etc. The path leads back to the Bnei rooms. “Moshe” hits a rock after the mads in the line start complaining for water. Suddenly, a heavenly voice shouts, “Moshe, because u hit that rock when I told you to speak to the rock, you will not merit to enter the land of Israel!!!” All the mads in the line start complaining, wondering what they will do without their leader!!!! The mads then start complaining to all the channies, and causing them trouble. The idea is to show the channies the immense challenge of leadership by throwing them in the deep end – this ice breaker will set the scene for how Joshua has to fill such big shoes after Moshe’s death. The kids are asked to vote amongst themselves for a “Joshua”!!! Once “Joshua” is picked, he/she gets to hold a heavy awkward object to represent the “burden of leadership”. The others can help him/her carry it, but IT MUST NOT FALL ON THE GROUND!!! THIS APPLIES FOR THE WHOLE TOCHNIT!!! The channies are led all around the block of the center, out the moriah carpark gate and in through the top shul gate, down the stairs back to the bnei rooms, the whole time lifting and carrying and the big heavy awkward object together.
Part 2: Game: (20-30 mins) Biblical Debates! Get the kids to debate biblical dilemmas in which they will take sides to decide what to do. The channies are split in 2 or three groups, and are given topics to debate. They have 3 mins to prepare for each topic, before setting out their case. During each debate, the chanich who was voted “Joshua” must decide on a course of action, depending on what he or she hears from the debates. The madrichim should sit with them in their groups, brainstorming their possible points, and facilitate the debate. The topics and sides of the debate are:
· Debate 1: The land of Israel looks promising. Milk and honey is said to flow down its valleys!! However, you have heard that there are hostile peoples in the land. Your people, Am Yisrael, are sick and tired of being in the desert though – they don’t want to wait longer!!! What do you do? Do you (1) rush into the land and risk losing battles? Or do you (2) send spies to scout out? Or, (3) are you sick of having a G-d you can’t see, and do you want to turn back to Egypt, where at least you were housed and fed, even as slaves?
· Debate 2: The spies are sent out. On their way, they meet Rachav, who gives them shelter. In return, she asks that her family be saved from any invasion of the Israelite army. Joshua is not there to approve – what do you do? Do you (1) promise her that her and her family will be safe, intending to keep the promise? Or do you (2) promise her that her and her family will be safe, intending to break the promise and shame Israel’s name in the Tanach forever? Or do you (3) say, “Thanks but no thanks, we’ll look for somewhere else to hide from the Jericho Soldiers!”
· Debate 3: It is time to conquer the land of Israel. Now you must choose your siege equipment. Do you (1) go for the traditional catapults and siege rams, but against G-ds orders? Or do you (2) start amassing all the shofars and musical instruments you can find, as G-d has instructed?
Skit by the mads involving kids again: (5 mins) The attack on Yericho!!!
The mads lead another skit! With Joshua at the front, we start making HEAPS of noise in the Bnei rooms if rainy, or the moriah Playground structure outside if its nice weather. We do the parade 7 times around the room/playground, and then the mads imitate the walls crumbling!! While this is happening, the “heavenly voice” from before instructs all not to pillage things from Jericho, and to kill everyone except for Rachav and her family.
The mads lead the chanichim onto their next “battle” somewhere nearby, which they then lose… because someone pillaged from Jericho!! Thus, Joshua has to remind Am Yisrael of their obligations to G-d. They can’t just act like a pillaging army! So, their next challenge will be writing down the 10 commandments – just like Joshua wrote down the Law after the battle they lost, to remind them to be a moral people, and to be a light unto the nations!
Game: 10 Commandments race (15 mins)
The Chanichim must race to write down all of the 10 commandments on a piece of paper, in groups of 2:
1. I am the Lord your G-d!
2. Don’t have other idols before me!
3. Don’t take G-ds name in vain!
4. Remember and keep holy Shabbat!
5. Honor mum and dad!
6. Don’t Murder!
7. Don’t commit adultery!
8. Don’t steal!
9. Don’t lie/bear false witness!
10.Don’t be jealous of other peoples stuff!
Once all pairs have the 10 Commandments, a mad will soak it in water from the bathroom. The channichim must line up in 2 single file lines, passing the wet piece of paper over heads and under legs till it gets to the back of the line. If the paper rips, the chanichim must copy down a new set of commandments and start over. This is a race to see who can do this the fastest! Once it gets to the back of the line, a mad will proclaim that the 10 commandments are “too wet”. The channies must then copy the commandments down yet again and hand them to each other the same way!
Sikkum: Discussion (10 mins): Discuss with the channies the idea of Leadership. Some questions they can ponder:
· What makes the characteristics of a good leader?
· Do you think its important to debate as a good leader? To choose carefully your path of action?
· What did the big heavy awkward object represent? Can a leader bear the burden of leadership alone?
· Who was Joshua? He didn’t have much experience – he had led Am Yisrael to victory before against the Amalakites, and he had been one of the 12 meraglim (spies) moshe had sent to Israel. Out of the 12 spies, only him and Caleb came back with good reports. What does this say about his character? Optimist? Strong enough to give his own opinion?
· How did Joshua remind the people of their spiritual obligation to be a good people?
· How was Joshua a good and brave general?
· How did Joshua fit the mould of being a good leader?
· What times in the channies lives have they stepped up to become leaders? How did they cope with the challenge? What tools, help and support did they have available in their leadership roles?
Final message: “B’makom sh’ein ish, hishtadel lihiyot ish” – Pirkei Avot
In a place where there are no leaders, step up and be a leader!!!
End: Draw A3 timeline sheet: (10 mins) The channies end by drawing a depiction of the Joshua story on an a3 piece of paper to be stuck up on the Bnei wall on the tanach timeline!!! :D