Youth Tefillah

Welcome to Congregation Beth Shalom’s Youth Tefillah page!

Below you can find our upcoming Youth Tefillah events, including our weekly service on Friday evening. 

We are also working on providing recordings of favorite songs and services for you to enjoy!

Upcoming Events

Shabbat Mini-Minyan

We’re so grateful for this recording of Mini-Minyan for all to enjoy! You can watch it here or you can click into the video on Youtube, to find your favorite parts!

Shababababa Songs

Read the latest updates on our Youth Tefillah Blog!

This blog is going to be a weekly exploration of what is happening in the Torah. In particular, it will be kid-friendly and oriented toward having a conversation as a family! We hope you enjoy!

Shavuot 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Andrew Charney on Unsplash

This weekend there is a special holiday called Shavuot. This holiday is one of three holidays called, pilgrimage festivals. Three times a year, our ancestors, would pack up their families and head towards the city of Jerusalem. There, they would gather, give gifts to God at the Temple, and say thank you!

What is something that you are grateful for?

Each Jewish holiday celebrates a story and something about nature. Shavuot is about the barley harvest. Each year our ancestors would gather up all of the barley they grew and would celebrate. Just like them, we are so lucky to have so much.

The other aspect of Shavuot is celebrating the special moment that God gave us, the Jewish people, the Torah. The people were standing around Mount Sinai, a small mountain, and there were thunder and lightening. It was a little scary. But in the end, we got this really important gift.

If you could give a gift, what would it be?

This gift was all of the rules and holidays of Judaism! It teaches us how to be kind to each other, how to share what we have, and to be happy together. This gift, the Torah, teaches us how we can be the best people we can be, to grow strong in our hearts, minds, and bodies. We celebrate this holiday by asking good questions, reading lots of books, and eating sweet foods.

What do you like to learn about?

On Shavuot, we remember how lucky we are to have so much, how fun it is to learn new things, and being together. It is one of the pilgrimage festivals and one of the best of the year!

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Bamidbar 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Kyle Cottrell on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is Bamidbar. There are five books in the Torah and Bamidbar is the fourth book. This week is the first week of that new book! One of the best parts about reading books is finishing and starting new books. Each one is a chance to start over and learn even more!

Do you have a favorite book? What do you like to read?

In this book we learn more about the Israelites who were in the desert. They are our ancestors and we are a part of their family. They were in the desert camping in tents for a long time and trying to figure out what to do next. So, they went to their leader Moses to learn about what their job should be. 

Do you have any jobs around the house? What do you do to help your family?

Each family in the desert was a part of a tribe. A tribe is like a family of families. Each family and tribe got jobs so that they would know what they were supposed to do to help everyone. Some people’s jobs were to walk in front of the group, like line leaders, some people helped in the mishkan, which is God’s special tent in the desert. Everyone had something important and special to do.

There is a word for when everyone works together, it is called cooperation. It is when everyone takes a job so that everyone can be happy. In your family, everyone cooperates to make sure everyone can eat, play, and take baths.

What is an example of cooperation in your family? 

Moses helped the Israelites figure out what everyone’s job should be, and parents can help us figure out what our jobs can be!

In Bamidbar, we are reminded that everyone can take a job to help out the family and tribe. We can always ask, how can I help? We are excited to start a new book of the Torah and learn something new.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Behar-Behukotai 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Rick Mason on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is Behar-Behukotai. Another double portion! The summer is full of them. In this portion, we learn about something really important, the difference between doing a good thing and a bad thing.

What are some examples of good things to do and bad things to do?

Your list of good things might include sharing, being friendly, cleaning up after yourself. Your list of bad things might include not sharing and fighting. So what is the difference between these things?

Good things are things that make our lives and the lives of the people around us better. By sharing, we can make new friends! By being friendly, we can help people feel better on a sad day. By cleaning up our toys, we can make our house a nice place to spend time. The Torah teaches us that when we do good things, we make God and our parents happy! God wants us to make the world better.

What is something good you did today?

What do we do if we do a bad thing? Sometimes we make mistakes and do bad things. No one is perfect, sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes, we can fix it! That Torah tells us that fixing our mistakes is a way to turn a bad thing into a good thing. When we get into a fight, we can say we are sorry. When we make a mess, we can clean it up! When we tell a lie, we can tell the truth instead.

Every day is a good day to do something good.

In Parashat Behar-Behukotai, we learn that sometimes we make mistakes and that we can do good things instead. When we do good things, we make ourselves better, our family better, And our friends better. We can make the whole world better by doing good things and fixing our mistakes.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Emor 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Tanner Mardis on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is Emor. In this portion, we learn all about the holidays! What is a holiday? Well, there are places and things that are special to us. Special places, like our houses or special things like teddy bears or blankets. In fact, last week, we talked about a special place called the Mishkan. We also have special people in our lives!

Who is someone that is special to you?

We also have times that special to us. One time that might be special to you is your birthday! You might celebrate it with cake and singing. Each special time has certain activities. In this Torah portion, we learn about the special times that all of us as Jews share.

We learn about seven holidays. Can you guess what they are? There is one coming in a few weeks, do you know what it is?

They are Yom Kippur, Shabbat, Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret. (Did you guess them all right?) It is a bit of a tricky list. You might notice that two holidays, Purim and Hanukkah are missing! That is because when we look at the Torah, Purim and Hanukkah happen way after the story of the Torah. They haven’t happened yet!

On each of these holidays, we have special activities we do. We cook special foods, we celebrate them with special people, and we use some of our special things.

Can you find some of those special items in your house? Can you remember any of those special foods?

In Parashat Emor, we are reminded how lucky we are to have all of these special times to spend with each other.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is Aharei MotKedoshim. Another double portion! In our portion, we learn about a special place called the Mishkan. (Can you say Mishkan?) This place was kind of like a synagogue, but it was a big tent that could move from place to place. In the Mishkan there was a big box called the Aron (can you say Aron?) which is also called an Ark. In this box was something really special.

What is something special that you would put into a box?

In this box were the Ten Commandments. These commandments were really important rules for all of us. Rules are really important because they help us be happy and healthy. They help us learn what are good things to do and what bad things we shouldn’t do.

What are a few rules you have at home? What are some good things we should do? What are some bad things we shouldn’t do?

One of the reasons they put the 10 Commandments inside the box is so that the rules would be saved for a long time. These rules have been passed from parent to child for a really, really, really long time. It is amazing to be following the same rules for so long. 

In Aharei Mot-Kedoshim, we are reminded that rules help us live better with our friends and family. We read this part of the Torah so that we can have these special rules just like our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Tazria-Metzora 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

 

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is a double portion! It is a combination of both portions Tazria and Metzora. In them, we learn about what happens when people are sick. First, we learn that God wants us to do things that keep us healthy. When we’re healthy we can spend more time with family and play longer!

Can you come up with some ideas about how to keep people healthy at home?

Eating good foods, getting plenty of sleep, and doing exercise are some good places to start, but we can always come up with more ideas.

When people are sick, they can sometimes feel afraid. It can be scary to be alone and far away from the people you love. In the Torah, Aaron and his family, who were not doctors, taught us a really important idea to help those people. It is called, ביקור חולים, bikur holim, visiting the sick. In normal times, when someone is sick, we can go visit them, bring them flowers or presents. Today, it isn’t safe to do that, but we can think of new ways to help people know that we care about them.

What are some ways we can tell the people we love we care about them?

Drawing and sending them pictures, sending them letters, and calling them are all easy ways to share love with someone you care about.

In Tazria-Metzora, we are reminded that even though we aren’t doctors, there is still a lot we can do for people who are sick. We also learn how important it is to take care of ourselves and the people around us.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.