Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wisdom from 4th Grade

You'd be amazed at what's possible when you take a group of 4th graders to our beautiful outdoor sanctuary for morning T'filah, ask them to bring a clipboard, paper, and pencil, and then invite them to write poems and prayers on spiritually resonant topics like, "Love" and "Listen." Here are two examples that, if you truly read them, will warm your heart and inspire your soul. Both are reproduced here with parental permission. 

by Nolan Tuck

Love is the world
Love is everything
Love spreads
Love is what makes us alive
Love is spreading and it won't stop
We create love
Love is what makes the whole world

Though Nolan's words speak for themselves, I can't resist sharing why his words speak to me. As U see it, in the piece he presents two complimentary ideas. First, "Love is what makes us alive." Then, "We create love." What Nolan seems to be expressing is the idea that love creates us (makes us alive) and that we create love (that love only exists in the world because human beings manifest it). 

by Sydney Gold

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu
Oh God listen to my prayers
I will sing you a song Adonai
Shema- Listen
Yisrael- Israel
Adonai- our God- Eloheinu
Listen to all my prayers
I say them for a reason
Listen to my prayers
for my cousin who has a disability
Listen to my prayers that everyone will be healthy and happy
Listen to the fire trucks and police cars at work
Listen to the guitar strum a tune
Listen to the birds chirping a message
Listen to the fighting people working to keep us safe
Listen to my pencil writing
Listen to my words
Listen to Shabbat coming
Listen to me walk
Listen to the music
Listen to everyone's thoughts and ideas

Sydney's concern for others, her appreciation for those that help and those that need help, and her caring and concern really shine through. The way that she uses the traditional words of the Shema to frame her remarks gives her writing a timeless quality. 

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