When Nature and Middot Perfectly Align

When Nature and Middot Perfectly Align

Mar 17, 2021
posted in Elementary Grade 4

We learn, teach, and practice our middot (ethical measures) along with our students. The same is true of our environmental ethos.

As the Grade 4 class engages in tefillah as a community in our Heschel field, we see the intersection of our middot and our environmental appreciation.

Students arrive early and call welcoming greetings to their peers as they run across the field towards our special tefillah space under the willow trees. We breathe in the fresh air, as we spread out our arms in appreciation of the blessing of the trees, birds, traffic, and wind. The students take turns leading tefillot, and respect one another’s contributions as we pray as a conscious and grateful community.

This week we practice the middah, “Offer some of what you have to others” – “כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַה”. Participating in tefillah outdoors was a meaningful way to give and receive offerings. As the students reflected on the experience, they discovered that praying outside offers:

  • Inspiration and joy to those who pass by
  • Gratefulness for God’s offerings; fresh air, wind, birds, people…
  • Shared expertise in particular tefillot as we take on specific leading roles
  • Support for one another if the leader needs a little help
  • Calming relaxation and kind feelings toward one another