Yamim Noraim
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Written by:
Lifnai Vlifnim Staff
Access editable doc with student handouts:

ברכה ראשונה

(5-7 minutes)


  1. Choose from typical shorter ברכות ראשונות like מספר נוכחות, 
  2. Ask one person to start by sharing a 2-3 sentence story that they remember from last year (from their summer experience, from school, from lev hashavua…). Another person from the group must continue by either adding to the story or saying that reminds me of… and share their own story.

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

(20 minutes)

Introduction: One of the names for ראש השנה is “יום הזכרון”- the day of remembrance and the theme of memory is found throughout our תפילות. In the ברכה of זכרונות we talk about ה’ as the one who remembers and knows everything but, at the same time, chooses to “remember” and focus on certain people by showing them mercy and goodness. 

Individual Avodah (students are highly encouraged to write)

As we enter the new year…

  • What memories from last year would you like ה’ to “pay attention” to? What memories would you like to hold on to so that they can play a role in your decisions during the coming year?
  • What memories from last year would you prefer both you and ה’ “forget” and not bring with you into this year? What memories no longer represent who you are or the type of person/student you want to be?
  • What can you do to make it easier to “forget” your bad memories and hold on to the important ones?

Discussion in chavrutot of 2 or 3

Share something from your personal reflection with your chavruta. After listening, the chavrusa should: 

  • Reflect back to their chavruta what they heard

And one of the following:

  • Share a story or explain how they connect with what their chavruta said
  • Give an עצה, advice, to their chavruta for how they can make sure to hold on to the memories that are important to them

Switch roles and do the same thing again in the opposite direction.

ברכה אחרונה

(10 minutes)
  1. Let’s think a little about the process of our learning today…
  • What was it like in the ברכה ראשונה to have to continue or build off of someone else’s story? What was it like to have your story be continued or built off?
  • Who chose to reflect back what they heard? Who chose to explain how they connect? Who chose to give advice? 
    • What do you think drove you to react the way that you did?
    • As the sharer/storyteller - how did the different reactions feel for you? Were you hoping for one or the other? Why?
  • What rules could we suggest about how we share and listen to each other based on our experiences today?
  1. Each person should write (or think) individually- what would you like ה’ and others to “remember” about you in a year from now? How would you like them to describe you? 


Choose one (or two) word that rise to the top as being most important to you. Share the word with the group (without explanation). [Bonus: after each word, the entire group can respond by repeating the word back to the person together.]

Notes to the teacher

  • This limud attempts to combine Rosh Hashana preparation with thinking about memorable experiences and listening. It may be hard to successfully accomplish both goals and you may need to choose to emphasize one over the other. 
  • For 9/10 you may want to make the emphasis more on what’s happening in the group on an interpersonal level whereas for 11/12 you may want to make the emphasis more about Hashem and Rosh Hashana.
  • Whichever one or two components of the ברכה אחרונה you choose, they are important! Don’t run out of time for this. If you’re worried that you will you can time the chavruta part and require students to move on to the next step when you call time.

עבודת המורה

  • What are your own positive and less positive memories from this past year in your role as a teacher? In your own personal or family life?
  • What might the memories that come to mind teach you about how we facilitate memorable experiences?
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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