Monday, September 8, 2008

Journey through Bereishit

Right after havdalah (the ritual marking the end of shabbat), we read the first 2 verses of Bereishit (Genesis) in Hebrew and English. We are embarking on a two-verse-per-day journey through the five books of the torah. We're relishing the Hebrew words, acting some of them out, repeating them, listening to me read them, listening to a recording of them, chanting the torah with the traditional taamim (the musical marks that are written under the words). It's just 10 minutes per day, but what a blast. We talk about the meaning and the questions, like how can there be light if there's no sun yet? Each verse I'll pick one or two words to really focus on. There are some really juicy ones in the torah because in Hebrew a word is never just a word.

Each day I'll review what came earlier in the week until we build up to 10 verses. Then each day I'll drop the earliest 2 verses so that each day we're reviewing the last 8 verses and learning 2 new verses. It will take 2-3 months to get through the parsha (torah portion) this way, but we should really know it (and I'll have improved my vocabulary immensely along the way!). I want to really get more and more of the oral vocabulary into their brains so it when it comes time to actually read torah in first grade the words will be very familiar to them. I really hope we're able to keep this up. I'm hoping for at least 5 days per week, but if we make 7 all the better.

No comments: