from:Klugerman, Rabbi Tzvi

to:6th Grade Tefilah

Time Sept. 09, 2013

Shalom and Gmar Chatima Tovah to the 6th Grade parents:

During the first few days of school, we focused on setting the tone for Tefilah. This year, we will be concentrating on two goals: Fluency in reading the prayers, and using critical thinking to understand the main ideas and literary cues that are the basis of all the prayers. 

To promote fluent reading, we are initially utilizing the Sephardic manner of communal reading to enable all the students to become comfortable in reading the tefilot without feeling uneasy. To promote critical thought, I challenge the students to think about the form, function, and meaning of the tefilot.

We have looked at the 15 Birchot Hashachar and discussed what is the purpose of the sechvi, the rooster, and why it merits a blessing. We looked at the source in perek 146 of tehilim for three of the Birchot Hashachar zokef kefufim, matir asurim, malbish arumim.

Last week we discussed the form and function of Baruch She'amar.  From the remnants of its original responsive form, we discovered that the Baruch She'amar functions as an introductory paragraph to a larger essay, letting us know the theme of the introductory psalms and readings known as psukei d'zimra.  It has ten sections to remind the reader of the ten statements with which God created the world. We looked at the opening chapter of Bereishit and counted the number of times the Torah tells us "Vayomer Elokim." We then looked at the first mishna in chapter 5 of Pirkei Avot that teaches us about the ten statments that created the world. Prayer is all about connections and over the year we will explore many different ways for the students to find connections and meaning in prayer. 

This week we will be concentrating on the core section of the selichot, the penitential prayers that are recited this week and also form the basis of the Yom Kipur communal prayers.

We regularly review and build on prior knowledge. It is great learning with your children and I look forward to working with them every day. 

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