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How do I teach the holiday stories while avoiding all the violence?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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Question:

How do I teach preschool Jewish holiday education without talking about all the killing and bad guys and the implication that the Jews weren’t liked?

Answer:

History is history, and if we wish to change the facts we are distorting history and creating our own fantasy of what we wanted to happen, rather than what actually happened. Needless to say, since we learn many lessons from history that would be like teaching medical students how healthy we wished the world was, rather than teaching them about all the terrible ailments that are actually out there killing people.

Keep in mind that we are learning the story of the past in order to make a better present and an even better future
I am therefore sure that your question is obviously not how to leave these facts out, but rather what is the best way of to present them to children.

The short version of the answer is to keep in mind that we are learning the story of the past in order to make a better present and an even better future. And so when we talk about the negative aspects of the past we don’t have to dwell on them, but rather point out that while once upon a time these awful things did occur, today we have learned to get along better and treat each other with more respect. And if we do see this type of behavior somewhere in our present day and age, we should know how terrible it is from our own past experience, and do all that we can to change it.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Torah » Education
Holidays » General Information » Holiday Information