Tuesday, April 16, 2013

bracha 1: avos

i began to think about how to approach this.  my first thought was that i would sit next to her, open the siddur...

and then translate it?  she'd probably find it boring if i did that word for word.  say it dramatically?  the language is a little awkward in translation and then she would have to figure it out what it actually means in "normal" english.

so i scratched my head for a little while trying to think about how to do it.

then i thought about chana's learning style.  she learns best by doing.  so i figured, why not hand her the siddur and see what she does with the bracha?

so we sat down and i handed her my small artscroll siddur.  usually she uses the larger "siddur chinuch" with no translation.  so first she had to find the shemona esrei.  (that's always a useful skill, since sometimes a child comes upon an unfamiliar siddur and has to find his or her way.)  when she found it, she asked me what to do.  i said, "well, if you wanted to know what the first paragraph is about, what would you do?"

"um.. ask my mom?" she answered.

i said, "how about check out the english?"  she thought that was a fantastic idea and started reading it.

she summarized it as:  hashem is awesome.  he's the Gd of our forefathers (small discussion about "fore" vs "four" since there are 3).  he does miracles.  he's awesome.  he's the shield of avraham.

she planned an anime picture with avraham and hashem as a shield.  then she hesitated, because she felt that would kind of be saying that the shield is hashem, and hashem isn't a physical shield.  she wanted to know what color hair avraham had, as she envisioned drawing him.  she didn't actually want to do the drawing, because drawing takes a lot of time.  she imagined what background she would draw.

i asked her if she thought this bracha was a praise or an asking.  she said praise.

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