Ki Karov

נצבים ,ראש השנה
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Written by:
Rabbi Yehuda Chanales
Access editable doc with student handouts:

ברכה ראשונה

Choose any or all of the below:

Have everyone share: A time that I thought something was going to be really hard and ended up being easy was…  

Hear a few examples: A time that I thought something was going to be really easy and ended up being hard was… 

Ask: What causes us to misjudge how hard or easy something will be for us?

Ask: What helps us feel more willing to try something that seems really hard or daunting?

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

יא כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--לֹא-נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ, וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא.  יב לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם, הִוא:  לֵאמֹר, מִי יַעֲלֶה-לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ, וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ, וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה.  יג וְלֹא-מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם, הִוא:  לֵאמֹר, מִי יַעֲבָר-לָנוּ אֶל-עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ, וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ, וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה.  יד כִּי-קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר, מְאֹד:  בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ, לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ.

מה בו: Summarize in your own words what the פסוקים say.

מה ליבו: What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?

What questions do you have? What seems challenging or needs more explanation?

מה לי בו

Different questions or directions you can take:

Broader questions:

  • What’s something (or some things) you would like to accomplish over the next year that seems “קרוב איליך”? Reasonable, easy, possible to achieve.
  • What’s something (or some things) you would like to accomplish over the next year that seems - “בשמים” or “נפלאת ממך”- distant or unachievable?
  • How do you decide whether something is קרוב or בשמים?
  • How much of it is about you or things in your control? How much is external to you or out of your control? 
  • Would you consider changing yourself “קרוב אליך” or “בשמים”? When is it easy and when is it hard? 

More text based questions: 

  • The פסוקים focus on “בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו”- The “דבר הקרוב אילך” is not changing your actions but changing “פיך ולבבך”. What do you think that means? How do we “act” through our mouths, hearts and minds?
  • The פסוקים contrast “בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו” with OTHERS going to שמים or going may עבר לים. 
    1. When have you felt that something feels out of your control when it actually was “בפיך ובלבבך”? 
    2. What allowed you to  come to that realization?
    3. What is something that currently feels out of your control? In what ways might it still be “בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו”?

ברכה אחרונה

What’s something you learned about yourself today?

What’s something you learned about someone else in our class?

What would you ask ה’ for based on our learning and discussion today?

Notes to the teacher

  • Don’t use all of the questions above. Decide which ones speak to you and/or will speak to your class. The later questions are definitely more nuanced. 
  • You should give participants a few minutes to write their answers to the question/s you provide. If time allows, you can have them share with chavrutot and/or share with the group. 
  • You can keep these questions broad or make all of this more specific to Torah and mitzvot OR even more specifically to students’ experience of selichot/yamim noraim over the next few weeks

עבודת המורה

  • Which questions speak most to you? Do you feel an urge to answer or think more about?
  • What is feels “קרוב איליך” in your Lifnai V’lifnim work? What feels more like it’s “בשמים”?
Download with student handouts:
Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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