Pesah: Zeman Heruteinu Overview

Rationale


This unit brings to life the instruction from the Haggadah that “B’khol Dor V’dor Hayav Adam Lirot et Atzmo K’ilu Hu Yatza MiMitzrayim – In every generation one must see himself/herself as if s/he was freed from Egypt.” In doing so, it engages students in a conversation about what freedom means to them and encourages students to bring the discussion home to enliven their family Pesah seder.

The unit begins with a brief introduction to the concept of freedom that encourages students to think deeply about what freedom means to them. Students then focus on three central symbols from the Pesah seder – the pesah, the matzah, and the maror - as starting points for understanding the Israelites’ experiences of freedom at the time of Yetziat Mitzrayim. Through text study and classroom activities, students review, experience, and reflect upon key aspects of the Israelites’ story and the seder ritual that has developed to commemorate that story. They then revisit their own conceptions of freedom by creating new symbols to represent their personal, modern understandings of what it means to be free. They compare their symbols, along with the experiences they embody, with the symbols and experiences that are traditionally associated with Yetziat Mitzrayim and bring the conversation home to engage their families in the question of what it means to be free.

Learning Experiences


Core Concept


The Pesah seder is a time to relive the Israelites’ experiences of freedom and to think about what freedom means to me, today.

Enduring Understandings


The question of “What does it mean to be free?” can be answered differently depending on one’s place, and experience.

The symbols of pesah, matzah, and maror connect us to the Israelites’ experiences of freedom from Mitzrayim.

By incorporating our own understanding of freedom into our Pesah celebration, we feel as if we, too, were taken out of Mitzrayim.

Essential Questions


What does freedom mean to me?

How do I relive the Israelites’ experiences of freedom from Mitzrayim?

How do I incorporate my own understanding of freedom into my Pesah celebration?

Unit Framework and Core Concepts

Lesson 1: What Does It Mean to Me to Be Free?


Exploring my conceptions of what it means to be free deepens my appreciation for the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim and the meaning behind the holiday of Pesah.

Lesson 2: Reliving the Israelites’ Experiences of Freedom


The pesah, matzah, and maror remind us of particular experiences that the Israelites had in Egypt. We relive these experiences in order to internalize what it means to be free.

Lesson 3: Pesah, Matzah, and Maror at the Pesah Seder


The pesah, matzah, and maror remind us of particular experiences that the Israelites had in Egypt. They are central to the rituals, discussion, and symbols at our sedarim.

Lesson 4: Connecting the Israelites Experiences of Freedom With Our Own


In developing a better understanding of what it means to be free, I will be better able to see myself as if I had been freed from Egypt at my seder.

Lesson 5: The Seder as a Time to Celebrate Our Experiences of Freedom


I add meaning to my family seder by sharing my own ideas of what it means to be free.

Learning Objectives and Performance Outcomes

Learning Objectives

Performance Outcomes

Students will demonstrate knowledge that:

Individuals must develop their own personal understanding of what it means to be free.

Students will respond to prompts that deepen their personal understanding of what it means to be free.

Students will survey others to see the varying understandings of freedom that are represented in their community.

Students will incorporate their own understanding of what it means to be free into their family seder.

The symbols of Pesah, Matzah, and Maror remind us of the Israelites' experiences in Mitzrayim.

Using the text of the Haggadah as a guide,
students will create riddles about the symbolic meanings of pesah, matzah, and maror.

Students will teach one another about the
symbolic meanings of pesah, matzah, and maror as symbols of Yetziat Mitzrayim.

Students will reflect upon experiential activities that relate the symbols of pesah, matzah, and maror to the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim.

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One purpose of the Pesah seder is for each participant to actively find meaning in the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim.

Students will create objects to bring to their family sedarim that reflect their personal understanding of what it means to be free.

Students will create a seder plate that connects themselves and their families with the symbols of Pesah.

Students will create a mini-Haggadah to spark active engagement at their family seder.

Students will express feelings of:

Freedom

Students will describe and draw images of what it means to them to be free.

Students will create objects that they associate with freedom.

Gratitude through actions

Students will brainstorm ways that they can express gratitude to God through actions.

Students will express gratitude to individuals in their lives through actions.

Students will be able to:

 

Describe what was created on each of the seven days of creation.

 

Place traditional symbols of Pesah on the seder plate

 

Sing and explain the text of the Haggadah: B'khol dor v'dor