Learning About Scapegoats

It’s hard to believe it, but we are nearly at the end of the school year! There are four more Sunday sessions, and five more Friday sessions before Masa will end with a picnic to celebrate both the end of the year and Shavuot.

Last weekend we were wrestling with the idea of scapegoats. In the Torah portion, Moses instructed his brother to take the people’s sins, put them onto a goat, and send the goat into the wilderness. The children expressed sympathy for the goat, and acknowledged that it doesn’t feel good to be blamed for someone else’s problems. There was a great deal of discussion about why we might choose to blame someone else for something we did.

Our oldest students have begun to take on more leadership roles. They created and led a lively model seder on April 14, and they have begun to take over leading one of the prayers at our morning service. I can tell that they are committed to sharing the things they know, and I am excited to see the ways they are already beginning to take on the responsibilities of Jewish adulthood!

Our kindergarten through second grade students will be finishing up their Shabbat bag project over the next several weeks. This Sunday, we will be making Shabbat candles (please send them to school wearing close-fitting clothing, for safety!).

This Thursday is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Rabbi Brent will join us on Friday for an age-appropriate discussion of the topic from 4:00-4:30. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns about what your child can handle. In the past, the students have engaged thoughtfully and seriously about the subject, and they brought up issues of the Holocaust in relation to our discussion last week about scapegoats.

Coming up:

Friday Masa, 4:00-6:00. Mini Minyan, 5:30-6:00. Kiddush, potluck, and services begin at 6:00.

Sunday Masa, 9:30-12:30.

There is no Sunday school on May 12, in honor of Mothers Day!

Journal topic: This week’s Torah portion is full of different rules for being holy, or being close to G-d. Most of the rules talk about how people should treat each other. How does treating other people with love help you to be more holy, or more close to G-d?