Tefilah Update before Yom Kippur


from:Klugerman, Rabbi Tzvi

to:6th Grade Tefilah

Time Oct. 03, 2014

Dear 6th grade parents:
I apologize for not updating you on our tefilot experience over the past weeks.

For the past 1½ weeks we have been working on the structure and essential passages of the vidui, confession, and the 13 attributes of the selichot that comprise a major part of the Yom Kippur tefilot. We have been alternating between reading together as a group and reading responsively so that the students can gain the experience of reading the more challenging passages and not hiding their discomfort in the crowd.  We also worked on parts of the Avinu Malkeinu tefilah, noting the difference that will appear at neilah, between Kotveinu and Chotmeinu.

When we return from the Succot break, we will resume our exploration of the psukei d’zimra and the overarching theme of the shacharit service. We will use varied techniques that will enable your children to understand the major themes of the prayers without relying on a translation.

When we worked through chapter 148 of tehilim, we used word frequencies to identify the theme of the chapter and how it related to the order of Creation as found in Breishit. We looked at the Baruch She’amar preamble to psukei d’zimra and discovered the origin of the Baruch Hu uBaruch Shemo response to a blessing. We also discovered that there are really nine “Baruch” statements that correspond to the 10 statements with which God created the world (VaYomer Elokim).  On Simchat Torah and Shabbat Bereishit ask your 6th grader to count how many times the phrase “VaYomer Elokim” appears in the days of Creation in the chumash.  A number of students noted the discrepancy between the assumed number of 10 from pirkei avot (chap 5), and the seemingly real number of 9 from Bereishit. I have challenged them to account for the discrepancy.

Wishing everyone,
an easy fast and a Gmar Chatima Tovah.

Please encourage your children to stay in shul as long as they can manage and daven.

As an extra bonus, ask your child why we do not recite the short perek of tehilim called mizmor L’Todah, on erev Yom Kippur.

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