After studying Hallel in Mindy Blonder’s Jewish studies classes, sixth graders were asked to write creative psalms that represent the things they would praise God for today. Here is a compilation of some of their responses:
Praise to You, Adonai, our God!
Praise to you for guiding us through our lives with the Torah.
Praise to You for giving us the abilities of sight and hearing, and the luxuries of taste and smell.
Praise God for food, education and health.
Praise God for life, family and friends.
Praise God who brings us light and love, and brings us back to His laws and to His greatness.
Praise God for the ability to invent!
Praise God for the ability to strive!
Praise God for the ability to grow!
Praise God for the ability to be holy!
We should even praise God for things we dislike.
Because everything He does makes us who we are today.
God, may You bless us and give us a good education.
Give me a place to live and make me holy.
Let Israel stay close to my heart.
Let my family stay strong.
Let my friends be in my heart forever!
Bless those who do good deeds.
Free those in captivity and make peace.
End all wars and hatred toward one another.
Give thanks to God for the big things, such as freeing Gilad Shalit, to the little things such as waking up in the morning.
God will praise us and help us because His love will remain forever, even though we don’t pay as much attention to Him as our ancestors did. Sometimes we listen to God better when we are watching TV or playing games on our couches. Sometimes when we are sleeping at night, sometimes it is only in a whisper, or a breath of wind, and sometimes it is a great big shout. Listen to the Lord our God more often, and He will speak to you and advise you. Speak to the Lord our God, not just in requests, but in praise, in words from our hearts. Love the Lord our God.
If we must praise God, then we must not worship idols – yet many of us do! We cannot be separated from our electronics. Before, we sacrificed animals – today we sacrifice time. Electronics are not our creation and are not to be worshipped. They are to be accepted as a blessing and understood as a message from God, telling us that we must not ever forget our duty as His people.
We praise You, Adonai, our God. The Yankees aren’t in the World Series. But please, have the Red Sox get in next year.