Friday, September 23, 2016

Yamim Noraim 2016 (or 5777--and I had to google that)

I have to thank Pesach.  (And a Rabbi friend of mine, R' Pinny Rosenthal, who gave a shiur where he explained this point).  The seder is the night where we pass the mesora down to our children.  The whole night is designed around figuring out where your child is at (the 4 sons) and preparing to explain the story on their level, catching their interest by doing strange things (karpas and taking the seder plate off the table), trying to elicit questions (ma nishtana), making the story as dramatic as possible (מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח, start with the negative and end with the positive), using props ("pesach, matza, maror"), giving a taste of drash (arami oved avi), and making it personally relevant ("every person should view himself as if s/he left mitzrayim..").

Pesach really is the model for education.  And the model for the rest of the year.

I was trying to figure out what to do for Chana for tefila this year.  Last year her tefila has been steadily declining (I think 14 is when Sarah also stopped davening, and she recently only began motivated to start again at age 20, which is well past the age where I am responsible for her anymore).  I had gotten down to a "shevach/bakasha/hodaa" model where I took quotes from Amida, and gave her a daily tefila and a shabbos tefila that was only a couple of lines long.  And then I think she stopped doing even that.  

So I wasn't sure what to do about Yamim Noraim davening. I was talking with a homeschool friend of mine (it's always wonderful when you can get together with other homeschool moms and chat about educational and parenting issues that are coming up) and I was telling her that I'm covering the Yom Kippur avoda in school and Chana is in my class, so hopefully if she comes for that hour of shul on Yom Kippur she'll follow what's going on and it will be somewhat meaningful.  And I was trying to figure out what to do about Rosh Hashana, considering that she's not davening these days.  My friend suggested I tell her to come to shul for shofar and not discuss davening at all.  Which I thought makes tons of sense.  She can have the experiential emotional experience of Shofar.

Then I said that usually I would ask her to set aside a couple of sessions to learn about Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur with me.  Does she think I should do that or should I leave it alone?  And she felt that if this is what I have done in the past, I absolutely should do it for this year.  And I asked Chana, and she is amenable.

So then the question I've been thinking about is what to learn with Chana about Rosh Hashana that will be suited for her temperament, personality, life stage, and current situation?  (Agav, this is what I love about homeschool.  THIS is, imo, "chinuch.")  Should we study a portion of the tefila that I think she might be able to relate to, philosophically and emotionally?  Or should we study general concepts of the Yom or time period?

(Last year I think we did "Avinu Malkenu" and possibly musaf.)

I asked her which she preferred (why figure it out if she'll just tell me) and she said to please ask her later.  So no help there.

For the boys, we are going to a "make your own shofar workshop" by the local Chabad this Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. I have started wondering what kind of davening to expect from my boys on yom tov.
    Thank you for keeping it real.
    btw, I was present when the teacher for my son who is in school said that they will ne be taught any yom tov tefila this year. It is for good reasons, but it makes me realize how much is still on the parent educationally, whether the child is in school or not.