Friday, July 1, 2011

The end of the school year , 2010-2011

School is finished. We made it through another school year!
All week I have been kvelling (feeling inordinately proud) over the achievements of my children, and all the ceremonies and productions I sat watching. It is such an honor to get to be a mother to these particular children.

Dov was a policeman in his grade's production on stage. It was a play about a boy who has to deal with people saying bad things about him because his father went away and left a debt with his shul. The boy had to learn to trust in his father and not be influenced by the other children teasing him. His father would call and strengthen the boy's emunah in Hashem, and tell him that there is nothing dishonest going on. The boy continues to endure teasing and taunting about his father being dishonest, and leaving him.

The boy ran away. He slept in the street near the shul, which wasn't fully built because of the missing funds which people thought his father was responsible for. He slept at the half built shul and became very depressed. The police came out looking for him (Dov and another kid were the police). They found him, and had to convince him to come home and that things aren't as bad as they look.

They brought him home, his mother was so happy (it is a boy's school-- the mother was a boy dressed up in a dress-- very funny!). His father finally came back, and the story became clear, and the other children in the school yard stopped teasing him, and befriended him for the courage he had.

It was a story of emunah. It was a story about believing in your parents and honoring them,  even when it looks like they may not be doing the right thing. It is about not knowing the other side of the story, and not jumping to negative conclusions about someone. it was about trusting Hashem. That is the play my son's grade put on (refer to the italics part after the picture to find out who wrote the play). Here's a picture of Dov on the stage of the play (not in police costume yet):
Dov, before the play, standing near the "wall" of the stage. It says: "you shall go forth in joy, and you will be carried in peace." (it's from the book of Isaiah, 55:12)

On to junior high for him... he has completed elementary school, second in his class. Nachis!!! (a parent's pride in their children.)

BTW- the play was written by a boy in his class. Yup. And that boy played the role of the main boy in the play. Isn't it tremendous that the school gave such honor to a child as to preform HIS play that HE wrote in front of a courtyard FULL of parents and siblings, as well as very important Rabbanim (Rabbis)? The message is to give honor to all people, young and old. I feel so abundantly blessed that my kids are learning this way.

 Shifra's grade put on a show which enacted the book of Bereishit (Genesis). It was *wonderful*. Her part was a man's part, so she wore a kippah and tzitzit. She was Naftali, one of the sons of Ya'akov Avinu (Jacob the forefather). She played in the scene where they put Yosef in the pit (the girl who was Yosef was so good). It was intense to see a bunch of second grade girls have such a deep understanding of the story. I honestly got welled up with tears at one point, hearing the songs about Avraham coming to Israel, our Gd given home. I have no words to describe what it is for an immigrant (me) to listen to my childrens' every-day schooling about Gd having given us this land to live in and populate. They know Torah and understand very deep concepts that I only started to learn at age 26.
Second grade. Finished. On to third.
Shifra standing next to the backdrop of her 2nd grade play. The figure of a man is meant to be Avraham, and the Hebrew says "Chumash Bereishit", meaning "Genesis" in the five books of Moses.

Ya'akov didn't have a play, unfortunately. In his school this year, only the 6th grade classes did plays. He is going up into 6th. I don't have any pictures of him this time. But I am inordinately proud of him, too. :-)

Azriel had a little play in his gan. It was *sooooo* cute. It was about the seven days of creation. The children this year learned what Hashem did on each day of creation, and all the beginning of the book of Genesis. Five year olds.
He was "day one". His sign that he is holding here says "the first day", or "yom rishon".

Mr. Yom Rishon. :-)
Azriel, "day one", with kids around him singing about what Hashem created on day one (separated light from darkness)

A few weeks ago, Azriel asked me about the monkeys who looked like mankind which are in the encyclopedias and science books we have. I found myself talking with my five-year-old about what the sages taught us about creation in reference to the the theory of evolurion. One day in the Torah story of creation could be thousands of years. All those animals and evolution did happen, and we don't know what a "day" means in Torah language. Millions of years seem to have passed in the one day the Torah describes.
This conversation was with Azriel. He asked more and more questions. I had suitable answers, thank Gd.

One day these kids are going to ask Torah questions that I cannot answer. I already have a hard time helping Dov with his homework from the holy subjects (regular subjects I can still lend wisdom, thank Gd). When I help Ya'akov, I find myself slogging through mishna and Torah commentaries that are completely new to me and hard to decipher.

May Hashem continue to grant them wisdom in the next year of learning.
And may Dov get off to sleep-away camp on Wednesday safely and have a great time (unplugged for three weeks!!!)

I am looking forward to the days forward of more relaxed schedules and no homework.
We did it. 
And wow, am I one proud mama.

1 comment :

  1. kids are adorable! what a gr8 way to end the school year! have a healthy and cool summer. rochel. p.s. info on yoga in pool is on last blog.