Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Stock - Sefer Torah Party

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Summer time also means the end of the school year, and if you're a first grader here in Israel that also means a big event where you are formally given a copy of the Book of Genesis (which your parents had to buy and put on your bookshelf months ago, so not exactly a surprise) in preparation for beginning to study the Torah (the Old Testament - the Jewish Bible) in second grade (yes, the Bible is a required subject even in the secular public schools).

In Maya's school (which is not the same elementary school her brother attends, or even the other one he's going to next year, but that's a subject for another day when I feel like raising my blood pressure and having a big league world class rant against our worthless excuse for a mayor, but nevermind...) all four first-grade classes held a combined ceremony on the school's outdoor stage the other night. They dressed in the traditional white, sang songs, danced dances, and some of the children, Maya included, came up to the stage individually to recite a line or two in front of several hundred beaming parents and teachers. After about an hour of singing, dancing and reciting the gold-covered books were passed out and it was time for a picnic dinner and the traditional giving of small gifts from the PTA (in this case a decorated cookie shaped like a Torah scroll, a tiny little book of psalms (why? what child is actually going to read them?), and a few taffys. I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that the cookies and the taffy were the bigger hits.) Once they were properly fed, watered and sugared up for the rest of the evening it was time to head home, tired but proud, and put the book away until they start studying in earnest next year.

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MyArtyCraft.com

PS My Arty Craft is turning one and Kathy is holding a giveaway to celebrate! One lucky reader will win a 5x7" photograph of their choice from Around the Island Photography. It's open for two more days, so head over there and leave Kathy some comment love now for your chance to enter.
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19 comments:

Dianne said...

Maya gets more lovely each time you post a photo of her

Dina said...

Congratulations to Bright Eyes!

And who knows, maybe Maya will sneak a peek at the Psalms or Genesis even before school starts next semester.

Praying that she has a good teacher for Tanach.

Maribeth said...

Congratulations to Maya!!!

Spiderdama said...

What a beautiful girl and the eyes!!:-)
Great shot Robin!
Hope you have a happy weekend, hugs from north

a woman who is said...

Summer time is finally here in our neck of the woods. Thanks for sharing about your daughter's new study of the Torah. She is a beauty!

Josie said...

It has been so much fun watching your children grow up thru the lens of your camera and your blog! I'm sure in any country or culture the candy would win out as favorite part of the event! I just know you were beaming with pride as she shared her lines from the stage! What beautiful children you have!!

kaye said...

congratulations to Maya, she is a lovely girl.

Chrissy Brand said...

What a fascinating post- very interesting to hear about schooling in Israel. Schools here in England don't finish for the summer holidays until late July.

Chrissy
http://mancunianwave.blogspot.com/

hip-chick said...

She is a beautiful girl.

Daryl said...

She is so grown up gorgeous poo poo poo


And I am insanely jealous of that moon shot sigh yes once again I fell asleep and missed it .. tho we couldnt see the eclipse here ..still another moon missed... GAH

Phyllis Sommer said...

What a shayna punim :)

Mrs. S. said...

Mazal tov!

SouthLakesMom said...

I don't have a fresh summer shot today Robin, so I'm not playing, but I will comment that Miss Maya is absolutely adorable. I remember those 1st grade smiles so well!

As said by others, I hope her Torah teacher is really good -- opens up the beauty of God's word to her and creates a life-long quest to know Him more intimately.

Eventually, she'll know that is better than any candy!

Dimple said...

Maya is bright and beautiful, Robin.
Blessings on her studies!

Al said...

A very interesting post - here in the U.S.A. teaching of religion like that would be forbidden in a public school, unless it was some type of comparative religions class. But there are plenty of private schools which teach religion.

Mama Pajama said...

oh, that face! late this week, sorry, just so %&^#$ busy...

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Maya looks very happy that summer has arrived...what a pretty face she has. My granddaughter is also named Maya!

Zen said...

Your young daughter is truly becoming prettier each year. That's a gorgeous photo you posted there.

Light Trigger said...

what a lovely face!