Wednesday, February 23, 2011


same old same old. chana remarked that she starts off fairly happy, and then she starts screaming in the middle. it's true. probably because i'm pushing her a little past her comfort zone. we do chazara of rishon with just words. then sheni. we did just one new pasuk today because the previous ones are still fairly unfamiliar to her. the rashi was great so i think it's time for a new one.

she asked today about hashem hearing the screams of sedom. and would he not destroy them if he didn't hear screams? i explained that if elazar hits jack, what happens? she said he screams. i said if elazar doesn't hit jack, is there a scream? she said no. so i said if sedom isn't screaming, then what does it mean? she said it means they aren't being bad to each other.

she then asked how they were bad to each other. i briefly flashed to the many midrashim. the torturing of guests, the midrash about the girl covered with honey and stung to death by bees. i decided to stick with pshat and gave some possibilities about hurting each other. maybe stealing, murdering, i suggested. chana asked, what about playing pranks? i said maybe.. not sure that hashem would destroy them for pranking each other.

she asked again what is the big deal if avraham realized that sorah said he was old. would he not get over it? would he be angry at sorah? would he yell at her? would he be so hurt that he can't take it?
all good questions, i think. i said he would get over it, i don't think he'd yell at sorah. i think he would be a bit hurt that his wife doesn't think he's terrific.
she said but he is old, and sorah said that she is old, too. so it's not like she said anything about him that she didn't say about herself.
i said, yup, and you still see that hashem thought it was important not to hurt his feelings like that.
she's still grappling with that.

then when avraham asked about 50 tzaddikim in sedom, chana couldn't contain herself and asked, 'are there?' i said no. she said, 'hashem already knows if there are." then she skipped ahead to the pasuk of "vayomer hashem" (which i was fairly impressed that she was able to find, as it was a couple of pesukim ahead) and tried to skim it herself. but she got frustrated. so i wanted to help her slow down and read it, and of course she didn't want to. and i sort of insisted. and she translated, "and hashem said, if i find in sedom 50 tzaddikim in the middle of the city.." then she finished, "i won't kill them." and i said, "more than that." she said, "he won't kill the whole city??" yup.

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