Thursday, April 18, 2013



It has been a long time since my last Parsha Projects post. But, lately, I have given some thought to turning the blog into a book. But, I have not felt very motivated to take the necessary steps forward. I realized this morning that besides the usual reasons for lack of motivation and procrastination, I was having trouble getting started because I was not actively engaged in actually doing parsha projects anymore. I realized that I would probably never be inspired to collate the projects that I have already done, if I was not simultaneously working on new ideas and keeping it fresh. I had basically given up on continuing parsha projects at home since adding two little boys and losing the "quiet days" just the two girls in the house. But, now that the baby is five months old, we are entering into a somewhat calmer period and I feel like I can try again. So, here goes. This week's parsha, Achrei Mot-Kedoshim is chock-full of mitzvot, the most famous of which is probably "LOVE your neighbor as yourself." In Hebrew, "veahavta leraech kamocha." This famous adage has a myriad of interpretations. But, I just wanted to focus on the concept of LOVE or AHAVA in Hebrew. I immediately thought of Robert Indiana's famous AHAVA sculpture at the Israel museum in Jerusalem.

This sculpture was originally produced in English and the LOVE design has been reproduced in a variety of formats. It has been recreated in multiple versions, languages and colors, around the world.

I found the image to be very inspiring for a kids' project. Big block letters, bold colors. It seemed especially perfect for my 5 year old daughter Avital since we are currently working with her on learning both her English and Hebrew letters.

Now, I just had to figure out exactly what medium to use. I liked the idea of doing an actual sculpture but that would entail working with styrafoam, wood, or clay - not something I could pull off at the last minute. It would have to be something I could prepare in an hour, with materials I had at home, and with baby in tow.

I looked around for some inspiration...

When the girls came home from school, they were thrilled to hear that we were going to do a parsha project again...finally. I told them that this week's parsha contained the famous pasuk "veahavta lereacha kamocha." We talked a little bit about what that could mean. For Avital it basically boiled down to "Do you like to be pinched? No. So don't pinch others. Do you like to get gifts? Yes. So give gifts to others." The conversation with Maya was a bit more sophisticated. We also spent time on the computer looking at images of the original sculptures. They identified the letters and we talked about how the sculpture was a large square divided into four smalled squares, each filled by one letter. In the end, our project was very simple. They were content to color or paint multiple versions of the words and now we have an outside gallery of LOVE...


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