Your Israel Inspiration For Sukkot
When the Children of Israel were freed from slavery in Egypt, they wandered for forty years through the desert to reach Eretz Yisrael, the land Hashem bestowed upon us, the Jewish People. Every year, we build Sukkot סוכות as a reminder of our history, our tradition, our faith.
What would this celebration of joy in our Jewish heritage be without a celebration of Israel?
SUGGESTIONS FOR TEACHERS
Sukkot is an excellent teaching tool!
Beyond teaching the traditions of building and dwelling in a sukkah and why we do this, teachers can help students explore history and values. Encourage your students to consider who they would want to invite. I did this exercise with my students over many years and their responses were beautiful and provided important insight into who they were as people. This was one of my favorite aspects of teaching, getting to know my students thoughts and feelings beyond the usual learning. For younger students you can have them name their guest(s) and draw a picture of the guest(s) in their sukkah. For older students they can write about who they are inviting and why. I had students name a wide variety of invitees ranging from top athletes and celebrities to a beloved grandparent to Anne Frank.
Teachers can also explore the many agricultural and medical advances as well as the landscape of Israel.
In my personal sukkah our family hangs many pictures from Israel, places, prayers, IDF soldiers, and the beautiful fruits of the land. Ask your students how they would bring Israel into their sukkah and help them see that wherever they live, we can bring Israel into our lives and our hearts.
Most of all, have fun. This is a joyous holiday and a great opportunity to instill pride and a connection with our Jewish homeland.