Yesterday, I had the opportunity to work with sixth graders at Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle. They reflected on the Torah portions for their upcoming bnai mitzvah and created a cover for the Torah that will be used when they are called to the Torah.
Once the students discussed their Torah portions with their parents (and Rabbi Schuck), they decided how they wanted to depict the message of the text in an art piece. Parents and students then worked together to create a fabric collage.
The finished pieces were incredible! Below are Jacob and Esau embracing (Vayishlach), a sunset over the water to represent compassion and wisdom (Behaalotecha), and Joseph’s dream of the sun moon and stars bowing down to him (Vayeshev).
The pieces below are representations of the golden calf (Ki Tissa), Jacob’s ladder (Vayeitzei), and the giving of the commandments (Yitro).
And below are pieces about Abraham receiving the command to leave his home and follow God (Lekh Lekha), giving the land a rest on the seventh year (Behar), and Jacob making stew for Esau (Toldot).
It is traditional to cover the Torah when it is on the reading table but not being read, such as during the rabbi’s remarks or for special blessings. These fabulous covers will be used to cover the Torah during the students’ bnai mitzvah next year. I hope they add a personal touch to their important days!