Tuesday, July 8, 2014

conceptual development

Chana has a few more pages left to Vayikra.  I happened across a gemara yerushalmi this week, and it pointed out something that Chana had noticed in this parsha.  She noticed that shlishi is very, very long.

This gemara (Tal. Jer Megila 3:7) says that you don't stop (for a new aliya) during the klalos, the curses.

אין מפסיקין בקללות א"ר חייה בר גמדא (משלי ג) אל תקוץ בתוכחו אל תעשה קוצים קוצים א"ר לוי אמר הקב"ה אינו בדין שיהו בני מתקללין ואני מתברך א"ר יוסה בי ר' בון לא מטעם הזה אלא זה שהוא עומד לקרות בתורה צריך שיהא פותח בדבר טוב וחותם 
בהדבר טוב
There are two reasons given why not, and I thought it might be interesting to discuss it with Chana.  So today, instead of Chumash, I said I wanted to talk about this gemara.  I read it to her and translated it.  

She wanted to know a) if this will be instead of or in addition to chumash.  (I said "instead of" and she looked immediately more cheerful.)  b) how long it would take (I said 15 minutes and she said okay).

I'm finding that either because of inclination of because of the way I taught, I spent more time teaching Sarah how to analyze and question than I did with Chana.  Very possibly because during the years when Chana's brain matured to that point, age 6-12, I had 3 little boys in quick succession.  During the years when I taught parsha, I always paused for Sarah to think of questions.  I think that with Chana, we were doing Chumash and I was focused more on translation than on questions.  

Chana had difficulty analyzing this conceptually, but I think it was an enjoyable experience for us to discuss it.  

The important thing is that it was enjoyable.  I hope to find more opportunities to improve her thinking skills in the coming years.


If you are interested in the types of analysis we did.

There are 2 answers.
1. Hashem said, "It's not "b'din" (appropriate?) that my children are being cursed while I am being blessed."
Why isn't that appropriate?  Does this make sense or not?
Did Hashem actually say this?  Is this d'rabanan or d'oraisa?
How do we feel blessing Hashem while reading about the curses?
If Hashem is good, then aren't the curses good for us as a nation?  Then why is it not appropriate to bless Hashem while reading the curses?

(Actually, looking back, she did a pretty decent analysis.  But it is much clearer as I write it than when she was actually thinking about it.)

2. When you stand publicly to read the Torah, you have to start with something good and end with something good.
Why is that important?
Chana suggested because it shows that Torah is good and Hashem is good.

I would have liked to do some analysis as to why there are two answers, and is it a machlokes or not, and what the machlokes is.  But time was up and I suspect that is better for after age 15, anyway.

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