Holidays, Holy days and Blessed Routine
The school year has commenced, we have already passed the autumn holiday period, and we are currently enjoying the blessed routine of everyday life. The first sign of winter brought snails and the smell of citrus fruit to our schoolyard. Once again, we continue the routine of weekly walks outside the kindergarten every Wednesday. The children walk around (Hilf) village and the surrounding area, and enjoy their encounters with sheep, goats, roosters, horses and more. On a particularly successful walk, we meet a turtle.
This year we celebrated the Jewish “Holidays of the Month of Tishrei”, together with the Arab holy days of Ramadan and Id El Fitr. For the conclusion of the Ramadan fast, the children held a lantern procession in the neighborhood, holding festive paper lanterns that they had made, and distributing baskets of goodies among the families. The ma’amul [sweet traditional Arab date cookies] mixed with the apple and honey [traditionally eaten for the Jewish New Year], but although the sweets were mixed together, we did not feel that the children were confused.
On Sukkot [the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles or booths] we erected a beautiful Succa, and all eyes turned toward the sky, to look for migrating birds making their way south for the winter.
Nadav, my 4 year old son,[Jewish] who is now in his second year in the kindergarten, sings to himself songs in both Arabic and Hebrew, and tells me what he ate in the kindergarten - in Arabic! I enjoy watching how he reacts when he hears the Arabic language, outside the kindergarten, as well, in the store or on the playground: he reacts naturally and listens attentively, even when he doesn’t understand all that is said.
Shira Tel-Avivi, Nadav's Mom
Translation from Hebrew: Rachel Gottlieb