It’s the history year at Kesher Newton in our Judaics classes; all of our students are engaged in a year-long sweeping and dramatic examination of Jewish history, from Creation to today. As we near the 25th of Kislev, most of the classes are trying to plan the curriculum so that the students get to the events of Chanukah, well, at Chanukah.
This means that we are teaching the events of Moses, the Exodus, and the desert wanderings of the Hebrews a little ahead of schedule (i.e., not at Pesach). This week, for example, the Anafim (grades 4 and 5) are doing some haggadah work as they have been tasked with generating an updated version of the maggid section of the seder, complete with storyboards, essays, musings, and, of course, haikus.
Haikus are magical- I can’t think of a single topic that can’t be taught or explored through the haiku modality. In the midst of the Anafim’s maggid creation, this haiku sequence began to paint the story of the life of Moses in 5-7-5 syllabic rhythm.
Once upon a time/there was a nice king who died/Pharaoh took his place
This one hated Jews/so he said that all young boys/must be drowned, by law
One mother did not/obey this rule of Pharaoh/she made a basket….
She put her baby/boy in this basket and sent/it down the river
Pharaoh’s daughter found/the basket and kept the boy/she named him Moses
Moses soon grew up/he did not like slavery/so he ran away
Then he saw a bush/it was burning but it lived/it talked to Moses
The bush said to Moe/I am secretly God in/disguise as a bush
Moses was shocked but/he still listened to the bush/this is what he said….
To be continued!
(And don’t worry… we’ll come back to the Passover story and the haggadah again in the springtime.)