Category Archives: Simchat Torah

Tootsie Torahs (and how not to make them)

Tootsie Torah 2

I Googled “Tootsie Torahs” and came up nil, so I named this post to correct the Internet’s oversight.

Candy Torahs are a thing, I know, and can be ordered in bulk, kosher and trayfe, with personalized wrappers. They are party favors.

I don’t do party favors.  Or so I thought.  Yet, I ended up on my floor, alone, fiddling with hundreds of 3″ Tootsie Rolls.  Worse, no one (else) learned anything from this project, the Torahs are way less cute that they were in the Pinterest Board that lives in my head, and they are destined to be gobbled at a buffet that will again yield no educative outcome. Continue reading

Torah Scroll flannel board

TorahBoardFull

Here’s yet another post only a Sunday School Teacher could love.  I made a portable Torah Scroll for a preschool Simchat Torah family program a while back, to demonstrate “What’s in the Torah.”   The idea was to let kids fill the Torah Scroll with objects that represent some of what is—you guessed it— in the Torah.  The activity can be tweaked to fit many age groups, and the more irresistible the objects, the better.   Continue reading

Edible Ten Commandments, update

Folks are asking about the chocolate Ten Commandment tablets from my Lag BaOmer post.  So easy, I promise.  And won’t they look splendid atop Mt. Sinai muffins?

ersatz chocolate

chocolate-esque candy bark

don't eat these

don’t eat these

 

I made plaster versions, too, for some of my little Israelites on our Lag baOmer Walk.  They had to “receive” the Ten Commandments at the mountain, right?  But I warn you Continue reading

LEGO Moses on the Mountain

Moses and the Lego Tablets

Google “Lego Moses” and you’ll get beaucoup hits. But just because he’s been done, doesn’t mean I can’t have a go. This one is in honor of Shavuot.

My Moses wears a do-rag because it is not cool to meet an omnipotent Divinity atop a mountain with your head uncovered. Nowadays, you can’t walk into a synagogue without putting something modest on your keppe, and the tradition had to start somewhere.  Besides, it was sunny in the Wilderness.

What I really wanted was a Lego way to incorporate the famous rays of light Moses radiated after the Big Meeting (Exodus 34:29). Thanks to a glitch in translation from Hebrew to Latin (#Saint Jerome) those rays are depicted as horns in countless artworks, and are, in part, the root of the persistent idea that all Jews have actual horns. Continue reading

Instant Edible Torah Scroll

Edible Torah: pretzel rods, fruit leather, Rolos.

Edible Torah: pretzel rods, fruit leather, Rolos.

Simchat Torah starts Thursday night. The “Rejoicing of the Torah” is a happy holiday, not surprisingly. Every week, Jews read a portion (parsha or sidra in Hebrew) from the Torah, and no matter which schedule we follow, we all finish and begin again on Simchat Torah.  The moment the reader chants the last word of Deuteronomy and then the first word of Genesis is one of the highlights of the liturgical year.  What are the last and first words?  See below.*

At synagogue on Simchat Torah, there is plenty to keep the kids engaged and happy, especially at the evening service.  Flag-waving, candy-scarfing kids can also carry toy Torahs on the noisy processionals (hakafot); beat kosher rhythm Continue reading