Saturday, March 8, 2008

Little Moments of Judaism

1. Last night, Em, N and I were watching the Canadian television version of Anne of Green Gables (which Em and I recently read together), when one of the characters said of another, "She's a real gimlet." At which point N suddenly burst out, "Huh? I didn't know she knows Hebrew!"

"Hebrew?" I asked, genuinely confused for about 30 seconds, at which point I burst out laughing. "Oh, no, sweetie. She said gimlet, not gimel."

My 7-year-old totally knows more Hebrew than I do, even if he's not quite so hot on English vocabulary. I love it.

2. We had a Religious School Saturday morning Shabbat service this morning (followed by a potluck luncheon organized and 'hosted' by yours truly that went very nicely, thank goodness, though the Critical Ladies made sure to let me know about everything I did that wasn't EXACTLY the way they would have done it). We have an exceptionally small religious school--fewer than 30 kids in grades K through 6--so each and every kid got to be a real part of the event. Even N, who is pretty shy when it comes to speaking Hebrew out loud, stood up front and paid attention when his class was asked to do the Shema.

Em's fourth-and-fifth-grade class (all girls) led us in a number of the songs and prayers, and then almost literally fought one another for the privilege of carrying the Torah around before and after the Torah service. In the end, the Religious School Director, who is also a rabbi, let the girls hand it off to one another as they proceeded around the social hall where we were holding the service. They all looked so proud; it was, for most if not all of them, the first time they've been allowed to hold a 'real' Torah.

Still, it came as a surprise to me when, during our nightly "Best and Worst" dinner conversation, Em announced that she had two bests, one being the fact that her friend E had come home with us after services for a playdate/sleepover and the other being "that I got to carry to Torah. That was one of the coolest things ever."

If I ever needed a sign to let me know that this religious education thing is having the sort of effect I hoped it would, it would be hearing my daughter use the words "Torah" and "coolest thing ever" in the same paragraph.


po said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
po said...

Deleted my comment above because I hit "publish" too soon :p.

I thought a gimlet was a cocktail...

Other than that, that's great that Religious School has such a positive influence on the kids.