Bikkur Holim, Visiting the Sick
- 3 posterboards around room: People to Visit, Things to Do, Reasons Why. Students will fill these out around the room as we brainstorm about the impact we can have through Bikkur Holim.
- Shaboom Bikkur Holim episode with accompanying worksheet:
1. What is the literal meaning of the phrase “Bikkur Cholim”? _______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Why was Rafael hesitant to visit Gabby? _______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Why were the Plonys hesitant to visit Grampa? _______________________________________________________________________________________
4. What are some techniques for comforting the sick you witnessed in this video? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5. Did any of the characters change from between the beginning and the end of the story? If so, how?
6. Describe a time you felt like one of the characters in this story: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
7. Did you learn anything new?
- Bikkur Holim text study:
Mi Shebeirach L'Holim
May the one who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless and heal those who are ill [names]. May the Blessed Holy One be filled with compassion for their health to be restored and their strength to be revived. May God swiftly send them a complete renewal of body and spirit, and let us say, Amen.
“The mitzvah of Bikkur Holim obligates the community to take care of the worldly concerns of the patient and to provide essential peace of mind.’ – Shulchan Aruch 335:2
“The mitzvah to visit the sick extends to people of all ethnic and religious groups.” – Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De‘ah 335:1
“The Holy Blessed One visited the sick, as it is written, Adonai appeared to [Abraham] by the terebinths of Mamre [while he was recovering after his circumcision],’ and so you must also visit the sick.” – Babylonian Talmud, Sotah
“The visitor relieves the ill person of one sixtieth of his suffering.” – Leviticus Rabbah 34
“Visiting the sick has no limits – even the great must visit the humble, even one hundred times a day.” – Talmud Nedarim 39b
These are the things that have no limits.
A person enjoys their fruit in this world,
and lives upon their principal in the world to come:
• honoring father and mother;
• performing acts of love and kindness;
• arriving at the house of study punctually
mornings as well as evenings;
• showing hospitality to guests;
• visiting the sick;
• providing for a couple about to marry;
• seeing to the needs of the deceased;
• praying with devotion;
• and being a peacemaker.
• Studying Torah leads to all the others.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is available on Netflix. Episodes 1-2 show the development of many relationsips. Introduce MLP episodes 1-2, pass out discussion question sheets.
- Watch episodes
- Split into groups, discuss the questions on the sheet (listed below):
- Describe the character Twilight Sparkle, and what she has to go through.
- What is the conflict between Celestia and Nightmare Moon?
- Describe how Twilight Sparkle treats Spike the dragon.
- Which main character do you identify with the most? Describe the way that they think about friendship.
- Name each of the elements of harmony.
- How do each of the elements of harmony represent an aspect of friendship?
- Would you consider the elements of harmony to be Jewish values?
- The subtitle of the show is:. Friendship is Magic. Why is friendship magical (metaphorically speaking)? Why is it a Jewish value?
- Put yourself in the place of Celestia and Luna, before the main conflict. Discuss how you think they could've handled their problems instead.
Who is rich? Those who rejoice in their own portion. Pirkei Avot 4:1
- While this is a seemingly simple statement, what is the deeper meaning? Do you find that it is difficult to be grateful for what you have? What would make it easier to acknowledge the good things in your life?
- How realistic is it to always be grateful for the good things in your life? What gets in the way of gratitude?
- How do you acknowledge the things you value in your life, and how often?
- Do you often think about the things you lack rather than acknowledging the things you do have?
- Is there a difference between simply recognizing what you have and being grateful for what you have? If so, what is the nature of the difference?
- It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. How can being grateful help establish a sense of not only having enough, but having more than enough?
- What are the benefits of acknowledging the good things in your life more frequently?
Students will fill their bags ¾ the way full with shaving cream, then make their way to one of the 4 stations to be around the room. At each station, students will choose prompts, answer them, and engage in discussion.
Each student gets to add 2 drops of food coloring to their shaving cream for answering a prompt, and 1 for each discussion they participate in. Station leaders, aka teachers and madrichim, may add some sprinkles to a student’s bag when they see fit.
Station 1 Prompts: Love
- How much love is there in the world?
- Is there more love or more hate in the world?
- What would world peace look like?
Station 2 Prompts: Connection
- Do you think there should be one required language that everyone in the world should know? Why or why not?
- What does the Internet do for the world?
- Many people have some sort of belief in God, and/or are part of a religious tradition. Do God and religion bring us together, or tear us apart?
Station 3 Prompts: Emotions
- Describe the last time you felt angry.
- When you go to bed at night, what emotion(s) are you usually feeling?
- Name 3 things, or 3 ways, that (you) can change your mood.
Station 4 Prompts: Family
- Let’s say you had to create a list of 10 people you consider ‘family.’ Who would be on that list?
- Do you owe more to your related family members, or to your non-related, ‘chosen’ family members?
- Who claims you as their family?
Activity Wrap Up:
The activity’s purpose is to get students thinking about themselves, their families, and the world in a new light. The drops of food coloring represent factors having an impact on each of us. We simultaneously have to care about ourselves, our loved ones, and everything going on in the world at the same time. Similarly, we hope that everyone else cares about us in return. The multi-color, messy bags represent the complexity of our spirits. Everything we think, experience, shapes us. We can also shape things in return.
Students will come up with a 3-part impact plan to shape their experiences over the Spring Break. These things can be anything: we can vow to pray more, like Moses prayed to God over Miriam; to show our families more love and affection; to stay up-to-date on the news, etc.
Jewish Action Plan
Design a guide for your future Jewish identity: what will you do, what will you choose not to do, which mitzvot are important to uphold, what practices will you hold dear, etc. Your guide can look like a chart:
In the next year...
When I'm in high school...
When I'm in college...
Stubborn and Rebellious Child Skit and PSAs
Mother 1: I have brought my son here because he is stubborn and rebellious! Please punish him!
Rabbi Joshua: Let me check his facial hairs. (Examines the boy's face) Nope, he only has one facial hair. He must have at least two in order to be punished for being stubborn and rebellious. He also must be old enough to be responsible for the commandments. If he doesn't have facial hair, he is not yet of age to be punished by my court. My apologies.
Father 1 (Approaches the Rabbi): Shalom, I have brought MY son here because he is stubborn and rebellious - he won't do anything I say and he only drinks WINE!
Rabbi Joshua: Oh. That sounds difficult. Does he eat meat as well drink wine?
Father 1: Uh, no. He is a vegetarian.
Rabbi Joshua: Aaaaahh. Well, I can't punish him, then. According to the Torah, a stubborn and rebellious son is a glutton and a drunkard. So if he doesn't eat meat AND drink wine, I can't help you punish him. Have a good day.
Father 1: Well, what am I supposed to do???
Rabbi Joshua: Teach him a craft!
Father 2: Shalom, Rabbi. My son is driving me crazy. He's stubborn AND rebellious. Can you please punish him?
Rabbi Joshua: Where is your wife?
Father 2: Err... she's working today. He.... Uh.... couldn't make it. But don't worry, he agrees with me, 100%.
Rabbi Joshua: Oh well, that's too bad. I can only punish a son if both of the parents are present to show he's stubborn and rebellious. You must bring him to me together, with your wife.
Father 2: Oy! A lot of help you are!
Rabbi Joshua: I'm sorry I can't help you. Have a good day.
Mother 2 and her husband approach Rabbi Joshua, bickering and fighting as they approach him.
Mother 2: Rabbi Joshua, our son is out of control! He is destroying our house, up at all hours, WORST of all, he even refuses to go to religious school!
Mother 2's husband: Lady, would you quit shrieking! Calm down. You are driving me crazy and destroying the house too! But, yes, Rabbi, our son is quite a mess. Please punish him. We have no control over him.
Rabbi Joshua: Well... umm..... I cannot punish a stubborn and rebellious son unless the parents come to me in peace with one another. You'll have to work your issues out before your son can truly be considered stubborn and rebellious. Good luck with that.
In chevruta, students will make a public service announcement on behalf of Rabbi Joshua for the Israelites about how to tell if a child is truly stubborn and rebellious.
The PSA should give advice to parents who think their children are stubborn and rebellious to keep in mind Rabbi Joshua's statements from the skit, based on the Mishnah.
Stubborn and Rebellious Self
Students will write letters to 'your stubborn and rebellious self.' This is confidential, you will not have to share with the class!
What is one thing that turns you into/triggers you to become a 'stubborn and rebellious' child?
Think about a moment at school, with parents, friends; dealing with homework, not knowing the answer to something, not being listened, etc.
The goal of this is for students to reflect on how they react to stress, how they can help themselves. They may not be able to control things that happen to them, but they can control what they are thinking, and respond to their feelings.
- What does your 'stubborn and rebellious self' need to hear?
- What advice do you have for that person?
- You can write the letter in any format. Text message conversation, poem, drawings. If you do a drawing, please include a little explanation.
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