Thursday, September 9, 2010

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On Rosh HashanahShana Tova means Happy New Year! in Hebrew. Today is a New Year day for millions of Jews around the world. I was born in a very secular family, but now my parents are more mindful of the faith of their ancestors, and they asked me to give Anna an overview of Jewish fall holidays, so she can celebrate with them as she visits them for the next two weeks. Luckily, I found an excellent book in the library – On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It’s told by a little girl who describes events in her house. She also explains when Rosh  Hashanah is celebrated and what it signifies. According to Jewish tradition, it’s the day of creating the world even though I am not clear whether it’s the first day of creation or the last, because, as I recall from the Bible, Creation took moreSep8_Card1 than a day. Anyway, in the book Rosh Hashanah is called a birthday of the world and then the narrator describes what they do on this day and on Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the year for Jews. In the end of the book the girl who tells the story makes a special Rosh Hashanah card wishing Happy Birthday to the world. We decided to make a Rosh Hashanah card for grandparents instead. Anna was too excited about her upcoming flight to really focus on the project, and she completed the card in about 10 minutes, but at least she tried:
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By the way, I admired the author for making these important holidays so understandable to children who don’t share the same faith. I am yet to stumble on a single Christian book that would explain Christmas or Easter on a level appropriate for young children without trying to “recruit” readers into Christianity.
Sep8_AppleHoney Anna was intrigued as to why her grandparents celebrate this holiday if they don’t even live in Israel and came to America from Belarus. I explained to her that dedushka’s ancestors came to Belarus from Israel long-long time ago, same way more or less as her own parents came to America. My mother has a split Russian-Jewish heritage, and I decided not to complicate matters even further. This was enough for a three year old, and she wanted to know if they are going to eat sweet things like children in the book. I am pretty sure they will, and she had a “special snack” of apples and honey – traditional Rosh Hashanah foods. Shana Tova, parents! Shana Tova, my Jewish friends, and Happy Birthday, World!
For more story stretchers visit StArt hosted by A Mommy’s Adventures and Kids Get Crafty hosted by Red Ted’s Art.

18 comments:

April said...

Interesting book, I might have to check it out. To be honest, I never even met a Jewish person until I was in college. If there were Jewish people in my high school, I didn't know them. I would like my kids to know more about other religions and cultures. Thanks for the book suggestion and good luck to Anna on her trip. Coming thru from stART.

Annette W. said...

I'm so glad you found a book that helps you teach Anna...I think it's so hard to grasp the religions we are not very familiar with, and yes, more books like this are needed!

Ticia said...

Yum, apples and honey.

My kids get the same way about completing projects as we get closer to things they're looking forward to.

Are you flying out with her, or how is she getting there?

Julie said...

This sounds like a great book! We have many Jewish friends so I try to keep my kids informed of the big holidays as well. I'm definitely going to get this book. Thank you!

Debbie said...

It is my understanding that Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the creation of Man not the entire world.

I know Anna will have a good time at her grandparents.

MaryAnne said...

That book sounds great! We don't have any Jewish heritage (that I know of), but I would still like my children to understand Jewish beliefs and traditions.

Christy said...

That sounds like an interesting book. It is so hard to explain anything about religion to young kids. C and R are pretty open to whatever I tell them though. It is T, at the age of 13, who is now expecting more answers and questioning things more. Whoever tells you that parenting gets easier as children get older, obviously does not have teenagers. I was also wondering if you are flying with her. I hope she enjoys her time with her grandparents.

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

I hope she has a wonderful visit with her grandparents! So glad you found books to teach her of her heritage.

Holly said...

I'll have to check that one out. If you need more Jewish holiday books, the Sammy Spider ones are great.

RedTedArt said...

Lovely that she made a card for her grandparents and great that she is so excited about her trip!

I love books that explain heritage and culture, be it your own or other's!

Maggy
PS would, ahem, LOVE for you to pop over to Kids Get Crafty and hook up too! http://www.redtedart.com/2010/09/08/kids-get-crafty-eric-carle-homemade-puzzles/

Brimful Curiosities said...

Books are a wonderful way to teach about other religions. Last year we learned a little bit about the tradition of Tashlich by reading New Year at the Pier. Yesterday, my daughter questioned me why a holiday was listed on the calendar.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I hope she has a great time celbrating, and learning with her grandparents. I still can't believe all the alone time you're going to be having :)

Aging Mommy said...

I hope Anna has a wonderful two weeks with her grandparents, how nice that you found a great book to teach her of her ancestry.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

JDaniel would love the snack that you had go along with the book.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I'd really like to teach our son about multiple faiths. I love the activities you did with her, and it does sound like a great book. I need to do more of this kind of thing. We recently got a board book out of the library (he picked it up and said he wanted to take it home) about the birth of Jesus and meaning of Christmas, and I was quite happy with it. I think it's good to know the meaning, on some level, of the popular Christmas songs, and to have a basic understanding of the bible as literature if nothing else. (I could use more bible as literature knowledge myself).

Fairion said...

I laughed when I saw this. Our stART for this week is about Rosh Hashana as well. Check out our link if you are looking for more books about the holidays. We will be doing Sukkot in a couple of weeks.

I am sure Anna will have a wonderful time with her grandparents.

Michelle said...

This sounds like a great book and a wonderful idea for a project. I was also wondering if you will be flying with Anna, I am sure she will have an amazing time with her Grandparents. I can't wait to here about it!

Thank you for sharing and linking your stART project up :0)

My Family My Forever said...

This is wonderful Natalie. I love how you did this. This book sounds like one I would like to read here too.