Give Everyone The Benifit Of The Doubt - äåé ãï ëì àãí ìëó æëåú
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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For the chanichim to understand that first impression aren’t always correct and if they want to get to know someone better they must give them a chance.
2.cut ID cards
3.cut characteristics cards
Step 1- who are you???
Cut out of the newspaper pictures of people that look unusual. Give each chanich one picture.
Make an ID card for each picture. Put the cards on the floor and tell your chanichim to find a suitable Id for each picture.
Cut the characteristics cards and put them on the floor. Each chanich should choose the characteristics he thinks describe his picture and put them around the picture.
Photocopy the characteristics and make sure you have a lot of cards.
Ask 3-4 chanichim to present their pictures and characters to the whole group.
Step 2 -discussion:
Ask all your chanichim to stand up.
Whoever paired for his picture with more positive characteristics than negative ones – should stand on his chair.
Whoever paired for his picture with more negative characteristics than positive ones – can sit on his chair.
Ask the chanichim who are standing:
- Why did you choose these characteristics?
- When we see someone how do we decide what we think about him? (Cloth, voice…(
Tell everyone to sit down and ask:
- Have you ever thought something about someone and after you got to know him better you realized you where wrong? (Ask a chanich to give an example or give one from your life)
Another option –
Who is Dani?
The madrich reads each sentence to the group. The chanichim must then tell what they think Dani is doing. Encourage the kids to make judgments about Dani, what they think he is and if he’s bad or good. The point of this activity is to illustrate to the kids that what they see isn’t always what’s going on.
1. You see Dani climbing on the roof of a house in your neighborhood, and with tools, opens the second story window and enters the house.
2. You see Dani yelling at an old woman in the street
3. You see Dani going into the supermarket and coming out with a case full of bottles, without paying.
4. You see Dani running after an animal in the street, later that same day you see Dani burying a cat.
5. You see Dani running in the street and pushing people.
The Real Story:
Dani’s parents just moved in to a new house. They brought all their furniture and belongings to the new house, but since they didn’t have the key yet they left the furniture outside and Dani to watch over it. Suddenly, the phone rings, Dani runs all around looking for a way into the house but when he couldn’t find one, he climbed up on the roof of the house and with his father’s work tools, opened the window and went inside to answer the phone.
That same day, Dani’s family organized a house warming party. Dani’s father asked him to pick up a case of bottles, which had already been paid for, from the supermarket. On the way to the store, Dani met
him grandmother and stopped for a few minutes to talk with her. But since she’s more than a little deaf, Dani had to shout in her ear for her to hear him.
After the party Dani went outside to play in his new neighborhood and to look for stray animals. Dani loves to take care of animals. Dani found a cat and took it home. But as soon as Dani got home, the cat suddenly died and Dani, sadly, had to bury the cat. On his way home again, Dani got caught in a crowd of people in the street. Dani heard someone shout that a man was having a heart attack. Dani rushed to help and give CPR but he couldn’t get through the crowd of people so he started shoving and pushing. What a day Dani had!!
Discussion: A related idea is Dan L’kaf Zechut, judging people favorably. We must always try and look for ways to assume people are doing things properly and according to Halacha, even if the result is rather far fetched. There is a whole book written on this, “Both Sides of the Story” filled with stories along this line.
Step 3 - the truth behind the face.
Summarize the peula until now:
A lot of times we base our opinion about someone only on our first impression. Usually, if we make an effort to give a friend another chance we get to know that a lot of beautiful things are hidden in everyone, and that we can learn new things from every person we meet.
For example, show the chanichim one of the pictures they used before and tell them a little about the real person.
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