I co-teach a wonderful group of 20 second graders Judaica. Last Sunday, we read the book God’s Paintbrush by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, and at each question gave the students a chance to share their answers and insights. Some of what they came up with was truly inspiring, and others just made us shake our heads. We assigned them homework of continuing the conversation about how we can live in a Godly way and continue to do God’s work here on earth. My co-teacher and I also promised to do the assignment, so I will write here and she will likely write a poem or a song.
I started this before I posted about egalitarianism and wasn’t sure where I was going, so I waited. Seeing the fabulous conversation amongst the commenters on that post helped me to see one way I am able to continue to do God’s work on earth – by getting people to think about things from multiple viewpoints.
The joy of blogging is being able to reach a wide variety of people at one time. Mixing up religious and secular, traditional and liberal, learned and learning and everything in between into one conversation. Everyone gets a chance to share their insights and hopefully engage in respectful dialogue.
Additionally, I get to bring to light topics which we don’t think about often enough. I’ve tauted that often with mikvah, and even hair covering. Doing it with egalitarianism was clearly beyond overdue.
Being able to be a conduit to these conversations is deeply fulfilling for me.
To use some of the books questions:
I think that talking with other Jews about Jewish things, in a meaningful and intelligent way is something that makes God happy.
I think I can be God’s friend by having conversations about things which he has commanded and helping others to “see things his way.”
I think I can do God’s work on earth by empowering others to continue these conversations in their every day lives – in real life and online.
By the way, I totally recommend the book! I get nothing for saying this either 😉
It really posed good questions that got the kids talking about mitzvot, tikkun olam, environmentalism, and being overall good people. It was good for their age range and I think could be good for kids both older and younger. You can work the questions to meet the needs of kids across the religious spectrum as well.