Judaism - Life for a child in a Jewish home
The home as mikdash me’at (little sanctuary)
Describe your home. What is your favourite or ‘special’ place in your home, eg your bedroom?
What makes it ‘special’ for you?
What activities do you do in your home? eg washing, sleeping, eating meals, talking to parents, visits from grandparents.
Draw a picture of these activities happening in your home.
How does being ‘at home’ make you feel?
The word ‘sanctuary’ describes a place where you feel safe and secure, a refuge.
Watch the videos below - what makes a Jewish home special? How is it the same or different to your home?
Keeping a kosher home
Help to prepare a favourite or special meal at home. Have a look at recipe books or recipes online.
What are the ingredients?
How they you cook your special meal?
Have a look at recipes from different countries or cultures. You could see what popular meals are in India, France or Italy.
Talk about what it means to be vegetarian or vegan. Why might people choose to be vegetarian or vegan?
Jews follow food laws which are written in their Holy book, the Torah.
Find out and make a chart of 'kosher' (foods they are allowed to eat) and those that are 'treyfah,' non kosher foods and also those which cannot be eaten together eg. shellfish cannot be eaten, meat and milk cannot be eaten together.
Why do Jews follow these laws?
Remembering the foods which can/cannot be eaten, create a menu for a Jewish family.
The Shema and the Mezzuzah
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
4 Listen, people of Israel! The Lord is our God. He is the only Lord. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. 6 Always remember these commands I give you today. 7 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you. 9 Write them on your doors and gates.
The Shema - information
The Shema is a very important statement of what Jews believe.
Have a go at making your own version of the Shema by writing what you believe on a paper scroll.
You could roll it up and stick it to your door frame, or make your own Mezzuzah to put your scroll inside.
Look at the Ten Commandments in the Bible (Exodus 20.8-11). Notice the second commandment to ‘Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy’.
Jews keep a ‘holy’ day each week beginning at sunset on Friday evening until sunset on Saturday evening, to remember God’s creation of the world.
How do you think a day could be kept holy or special?
Do you think having a 'day of rest' is a good idea? Why?
Shabbat - Resources and information
Read a story from the Torah.
The Torah comprises the first five books of Moses which are also found in the Christian Bible, the first five books in the Christian Old Testament.
Read a story which might be heard on a Shabbat morning in the synagogue, for example, the story of Joseph and his brothers or the story of Moses. Why is this story important to Jews?
You could act out a story or create your own story book version.
You can find these stories via some of the links below.
What is a day in the life of a Jewish child like?
Write a diary entry for a Jewish child; or story board their day.
Idea for reflection
How do I show I belong?