By Dean of Jewish Learning Rabbi Sharon Clevenger
Snow days are the greatest, but they sure can mess up a schedule! A few weeks ago, a wonderful and much-appreciated Friday snow day left a group of Grade 3 students happy, but not entirely happy. Slated to lead Kabbalat Shabbat that day, they had been practicing their songs and dances, and working hard to create meaningful backgrounds for the slides with the songs and blessings on them.
Would they have to miss their chance on the bimah (stage)? Thankfully, their problem was easily solved with a one week postponement, but that left the other half of Grade 3 without a Friday before vacation, and it threw off the rest of the Kabbalat Shabbat leadership schedule for the rest of the year!
Kabbalat “Sha-not” presented a learning opportunity where students considered which blessings can happen any day and which are special to Shabbat.
Rashi students, from Grade K through Grade 8 really look forward to their chance on the bimah, and we parents are often equally excited to see our K-5 kids lead. To take away a leadership opportunity felt like a big and painful sacrifice. It was time to get creative.
On Thursday, February 17, at 8:05 AM, The Rashi School celebrated its first ever Kabbalat “Sha-not.” Led by some of our Grade 3 students, it was a Shabbat-like, K-5, pre-vacation, pre-Shabbat celebration. We had all of the accoutrements of Kabbalat Shabbat, from candles to challah, but about 31 hours early.
We all saw Judaism as flexible, playful, and there to help meet our communal and spiritual needs, any day of the week.
Kabbalat “Sha-not” presented a learning opportunity where students considered which blessings can happen any day and which are special to Shabbat. We all saw Judaism as flexible, playful, and there to help meet our communal and spiritual needs, any day of the week. What’s more? Kabbalat “Sha-not” started the last day before vacation off on a great note, bringing the whole Lower School community together for singing, blessing and fun!