Friday, September 16, 2011


so i chose to do the famous rashi about the stones arguing over who would be the pillow of the tzadik. little known is that rashi first gives the pshat that yaakov took the stones to build himself a fortress because he was concerned about wild animals.

chana was astonished by this rashi. she looked at me like the world had gone mad. i said, do you think this happened?

she was reluctant to say it didn't (hashem changed all the rocks into one rock; after all, He certainly can). but she did say, "rocks don't speak." and i agreed.

i told her that rashi and chazal speak in riddles, and it's a riddle.

she asked me if i knew what the riddle means.

i said i have maybe a little bit of an idea. she pressed me. i said that if i wanted to help a tzadik and she wanted to help a tzadik, maybe hashem would help us do it together.

she frowned and said, "yes, but we aren't rocks."

she has a little way to go before she grasps the concept of metaphor. actually, i had a sheet that i used to illustrate the idea that i used to use for classes. maybe i'll see if i can dig that up.


  1. So, I have to ask, now that we're starting Chumash... when do you suggest introducing Rashi? I seem to recall my older kids starting in Grade 4, but maybe not. I think they started Chumash in Grade 2, which is probably a year later than most Jewish schools around here. So I think they had 2 years of "straight Chumash" before introducing Rashi script etc. My dd is 6 & in Grade One, and we are only on Passuk 3 of Lech Lecha, so I'm just kind of looking ahead. Thanks for any insight you can provide!

  2. most of the jewish schools by me start chumash in 2nd grade and rashi in 3rd. i started with my older daughter chumash in 4th but i taught her the rashi letters in 3rd just like i taught the aleph beis. they are already coping with print and script, so one more font is no big deal :-P

    i don't think it's a problem to do 2 years of straight chumash before rashi. i don't think it's a problem to introduce it at the same time (though then they may get more confused about pshat and not pshat).

    remember, you have a bunch of years to work on the skills however you want. if you start slowly, there will always be time to pick it up more intensively later. if you read my posts tagged "rashi" you will see how much trouble this part of homeschooling is giving me! i don't have a handle on it!

    what are your goals for rashi? for the skill of reading and translating? for your child to remember specific rashis? depending on what it is, you would handle it differently.

    enjoy feeling your way!