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!

Mattot-Maasei 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is Mattot-Maasei. In this week’s double portion, we learn a very powerful story about five sisters. When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, each family was going to be given their own piece of land! It would become part of their family, passed on from generation to generation.

Where did you family from? Did they always live in the same place?

In the Torah, we’re told that when someone died, their sons would get the family land. In one family, there were no sons, so what was going to happen? That is when we learn about these five sisters. Their names were: Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah and their father’s name was Tzelofchad.

These brave women went to Moses and said, if the land only goes to boys, then our land will be lost to our family forever. We want you to give us the land. Moses went to God and asked what he should do, this had not happened before!

What do you think Moses should do?

God told Moses that the five sisters were absolutely right! They should get their father’s land so it can stay in the family. Even Moses learned new things about the rules that God had given to him. 

In Mattot-Maasei, we learn about these five sisters who stood up for themselves. Because of their bravery, the rules were changed to be more fair and just. We can all learn to be a little bit more like Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah, the daughters of Tzelofchad.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Pinhas 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

This week’s Torah portion is Pinhas. In this week’s portion, we learn about working together. There are some things we cannot do all by ourselves. We all need help sometimes. Maybe that is making a meal, tying our shoes, or reading a book. That is why we work together!

What are the things you need help doing?

In the Torah, God and Moses worked together to help the Israelites in the Desert. God and Moses were very close friends. God needed Moses’ help to teach the Israelites all about the rules in the Torah. Moses needed help from God on how to be a good leader for the people. 

Do you have a friend that helps you? What do they help you with?

When Moses, God, and the Israelites arrived at the edge of the Promised Land, God told Moses that while he had been a good leader, it was someone else’s turn. Moses did a really good job, but that it would be Joshua’s turn to lead the people. Joshua was very brave. When the people were scared, he told them that God would help them if they needed it! 

Do you think it is brave to get help when you need it? Do you think it is brave to help others?

In Pinhas, we learn all about working together, helping each other, and taking turns. We cannot do everything all on our own, so it is good to get help. Just like God and Moses, we can work together to do amazing things.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

Nasso 5780 – Youth Tefillah Blog

Photo by Olivia Bauso on Unsplash

This week’s Torah portion is Nasso. In this week’s portion, we learn about a very important blessing. This blessing is called, “the priestly blessing.” God taught Moses’ brother Aaron three blessings to say over the people Israel in the desert. But first, what is a blessing?

What do you think a blessing is?

A blessing is a way we can say thank you. When we eat food, we say a blessing, even broccoli. And every time we say the blessing, we say thank you to God and all of the people who made sure that food ended up on our plate. Blessings can also be ways we say thank you to each other and to God. We can say, “bless you, God, for making nature so beautiful” or “bless you, God, for my friends and family.”

What are some blessings you might want to say?

Did you know that the priestly blessing appears every week?! Parents use these words when they bless their children! There are three parts:

  1. May God bless you and protect you.
  2. May God be kind and gracious to you.
  3. May God shine God’s face on to you and give you peace.

Blessings can also be ways that we say, “I love you.” God tells us that God loves us through blessings and we say I love you back with blessings. Blessings can do so much!

How do you show your family and friends that you love them?

In Nasso, we are reminded that we can say “thank you” and “I love you” with blessings. Each week, on Shabbat, parents can use the priestly blessing as a place to start to bless their children.

Read more on our Youth Tefillah page.

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.