Monday, August 16

PreSchool Parsha

This week's parsha is Ki Tetze. The parsha continues the saga of Moses teaching B'Nai Yisrael how to rule themselves in preparation for crossing into Eretz Yisrael.

The specific theme this week is repeated in several different ways is "Be a Good Neighbor" or "Others before Self". There are several specific commandments that prevent animal cruelty and teach B'Nai Yisrael how to care for animals. Separation is a consistent theme in the Torah and is repeated here. We are commanded Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayimnot to harness two different kinds animals together. Why? Because HaShem knows that different animals have different strengths and one would end up hurt or over used. The mitzvah of "Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim,” is mentioned again when we are commanded to help unload a neighbors animal even if the neighbor does not help so that the animal will not suffer.

HaShem also sets rules about gathering eggs in the wild and teaches respect for His creatures. The mother bird must be shooed away before taking the eggs. The mother must be allowed to go make a new family elsewhere so that her line continues. Some people also explain it that a mother should not watch her young suffer or die.

It is not only animals to which we must be kind. Miriam is remembered in this parsha as we are once again reminded to refrain from speaking Lashon Hora. We are also instructed in providing for the poor. There must always be food for the poor which is ensured by specific commandments for each type of food producer. We may not be farmers leaving sheaves in the field any longer but we still must give a portion of our take to the poor.

We need to care for our neighbors by ensuring their safety as well. We are commanded to build fences around a danger to keep the unaware out and safe. This opens a whole discussion of baby-proofing techniques as well as raising the awareness of what constitutes danger to others.

While HaShem commands us to share we do not need to detriment ourselves unnecessarily. We are able to ask for collateral when making a loan but only at the time the loan is given. More importantly though the collateral cannot detriment the borrower. It may not be something he needs to survive or earn a living.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Is this how you plan to present it to your dd, or are you going to reword everything in a more kid-friendly way? Are you planning to make this a regular feature?
    I'm doing weekly parsha poems; maybe I'll link to you and we can stick together with this parsha thing!

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  2. Jennifer

    I have seen your poems. They are great. I am amazed at how creative you are. I do hope to make this a regular item. I will be leading services once a month after the High Holidays so this is giving me practice at writing the drash.

    I will probably present this to Froggy in pretty much this manner. To me it is age/developmentally appropriate for her. We do two different Parsha studies already so this is to fill in the gaps and clarify the differences.

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