How To Explain Jewish holidays To Kids

Luckily we live in a time whereby Jewish children can freely learn about their festivals in kindergarden and school but lets see how it can be presented anyway!

What festivals are celebrated in Tishrei?

The month of Tishrei is a wonderful month as far as Jewish festivals are concerned. The very first two days of the month are the festival of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish year. Ten days later the holiest day of the entire Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is observed. A mere five days later is the seven-day Sukkot festival spent outside in booths and at the end of Sukkot is Simchat Torah, the festival of celebrating our connection to the Bible and expressing this connection by dancing around the synagogue with the Torah scrolls in hand.

Jewish Life Cycle PALHow to explain the serious festivals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to kids?

How does one explain these festivals to one’s kids? We’re going to provide some pointers that you can use in order to relay the most important points of the first two festivals in ways that yours kids will understand. Obviously, the more fun you make the way that you present these facts the better- don’t be scared to use your imagination- plays, arts and crafts, games, etc. For each of the first two festivals of Tishrei we will provide the main points that you should try and make sure that your kid understands.

Rosh Hashanahmeans “Head of the Year” in Hebrew and is the beginning of ten days when Jewish people think carefully about how they have behaved since last Rosh Hashanah.

We remember our behavior, pray to Hashem to be forgiven for any bad behavior and promise to be better this year.

We spend a lot of time in synagogue praying on Rosh Hashanah as it is a very serious day.

Rosh Hashanah falls on the first two days of Tishrei.

Rosh Hashanah is also the birthday of the world, the birthday of the first man, the day on which Sarah learned that she would have Isaac and the day that Isaac was born.

There are several names for Rosh Hashanah;

Yom Teruah- The Day of the Blowing (connected to the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah)

Yom Hazikaron- The Day of Remembering- when Hashem remembers all of our behavior from the past year

Zichron Teruah- Remembering the Blowing (of the trumpets that would have been blown in the Temple on Rosh Hashanah)

Yom Hadin- the Day of Judgment- when Hashem judge us.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and we try and make up for wrong things we have done this year.

Adults don’t eat for the whole dayWe all make mistakes and on Yom Kippur we can say sorry for all of our mistakes and ask Hashem to forgive us

On the morning of Yom Kippur some people wave a chicken around their head, doing Kapparot so they can pass on their mistakes to the chicken and start Yom Kippur free of mistakes.It is a big mitzvah to eat well on the day before Yom Kippur

Before leaving for Kol Nidre on the eve of Yom Kippur a big memorial candle is lit at home and we use it for the Havdallah at the end of Yom Kippur.

Many people wear white clothes on Yom Kippur so that we look like angels before Hashem.We must not wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur.

Ajudaica.com sells wide range of Illustrated Booklets for children and CDs with children songs for every Jewish holiday.

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