You're the Commentator


Monday, March 22, 2010


There's probably TMI about sacrifices in this week's parasha than you need, but there are always some good questions to think about.

In the beginning of the portion, in chapter 6 verses 3 and 4, it says:
3. And the kohen shall put on his linen shirt, and he shall put on his linen trousers. And he shall lift out the ashes which are left after the fire has completely burned the sacrifice on the altar, and put the ashes down next to the altar. 
4. He shall then take off his clothes and put on other clothes, and he shall take out the ashes to a clean place outside the camp.

  1. Who takes out the garbage in your household?  Is it anyone's favorite job?
  2. The Kohanim have a very special status in the Torah.  They do important work in the tabernacle in the desert, and will be the chief sacrifice operators in the Temple when it is built in Jerusalem.  Why do you think a Kohen is supposed to take out the ashes?
  3. What do you wear special clothes for?  Why do you wear them?  What happens when you put on these special clothes?  What do you think that has to do with the ashes on the altar?
Be sure to share your answers by commenting on this blog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

VaYikrah (Leviticus)

This is the first parasha (portion) of the third book of the Torah.  The book is called VaYikrah in Hebrew, Leviticus in English.  It's right in the middle of the five books.  Breysheet (Genesis) was mostly about the creation of the world and the first Jewish family - the family of Avraham.  The second book, Shmot (Exodus), was mostly about being in Egypt, coming out of Egypt and receiving the Ten Commandments.  At the end of Shmot the people of Israel were in the desert.

  1. What do you expect this next book will be about?  Why?
  2. A big part of this week's parasha tells the people what they are supposed to do if they do something wrong by mistake, without knowing it was wrong.  Think of at least one good reason there should be consequences if you do something wrong by mistake.  What do you think the consequence should be?
  3. The commandments in this parasha are about sacrificing animals in the Temple in Jerusalem.  Today there are no sacrifices, and most Jews don't expect there ever will be again.  So why do you think we are still reading about sacrifices today?  

Monday, March 8, 2010

VaYakhel and P'kuday

This week there are two portions of Torah (It has to do with the calendar and how many portions there are to read in a year) - the first is VaYakhel and the second is P'kuday.
Both of them are about building the special tent/vehicle that will carry the tablets Moshe received from God on top of the mountain.
God invites everyone to contribute materials for the building, but selects Bezalel as the person in charge.  Here are some questions for you to think about:

1.  Why do you think everyone is invited to contribute to the building?  Couldn't God just create whatever is needed?  What difference would it make?

2.  Here's some of what the Torah says about Bezalel:
35:30  Moses said to the Israelites:  See, Adonai has selected Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, from the tribe of Yehudah.
35:31  And God has filled him with God's spirit, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge, and with the ability to do good work. 
Why do you think there needs to be one person in charge?  According to the verses in the Torah, what is special about Bezalel?

3.  What is the most special thing you have in your family?  How do you keep it safe?  Where is the Torah kept in your synagogue?  What keeps it safe?

I want to know what you think about these questions.  You can comment in the space below and other kids can see your opinions.  That way we can all learn together.