Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Torah Tuesdays: Parshat Balak and Role Play

Balak was the first Parasha I blogged about a year ago. To see the crafts we created to go along with the Balaam and donkey story click here

File:Foster Bible Pictures 0080-1 An Angel Met Balaam with a Sword.jpg

Super quick parasha synopsis:
 Balak, the king of Moab, asks the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel.  On the way, Balaam's donkey refuses to go forward because it sees the angel that G-d sends to block their way. Balaam hits the donkey. When Balaam tries to curse the Jewish people, blessings come out instead. 

We skipped the more risque topics that came up in the second part of the parasha. 

 For a great insight into the first portion of the parasha, please read this wonderful piece put out by the Sephardic Institute:

Topics to discuss: 
1. "In the path a man wishes to go, in that path will he be led (b. Mak. 10b)".  Balaam wanted a certain response from Hashem when asking to go with Balak's messengers and kept asking until he got the answer he wanted to hear. How often do our kids do that to us and we do that ourselves?

2. Discuss the fact that the donkey got the message that Hashem's angel was trying to send and Balaam didn't. Why couldn't he see the message as clearly as the donkey, what was clouding his vision?

3. Discuss the blessings given over by Balaam.

We use role playing ALOT when teaching parasha topics. We repeat the scenes several times throughout the week to reinforce the sequence of events and discuss the characters. Here is a short audio clip of how some of the role playing went today:

Excuse some of the freedoms we took with the text. For example to help my 2 year old feel included she was the rooster who woke up Balaam after he slept for the night and received his prophesy from Hashem. This is most definitely not in the Torah.

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