Category Archives: Bereshit 16:1-13

Discussion Plan: Seeing and Hearing – MS, HS, A

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Discussion Plan: Seeing and Hearing

In each case, make sure to explain your answers / responses.

  1. Are there times you are heard but not seen?
  2. Are there times you are seen but not heard?
  3. Can you look at someone but not see them?
  4. Can you see someone without looking at them?
  5. Can you hear what someone says but not listen to them?
  6. Do you expect friends to see you better than other people? In what ways?
  7. Is there a difference between the way parents see you and the way teachers see you?
  8. Is there a difference between the way parents see you and the way your friends see you?
  9. Do you think all your friends see you the same way? If not, what accounts for the difference?
  10. Could a stranger see you better than your friends do?
  11. Could someone who disagrees with you see your point better than people who agree with you?
  12. When we respond to what we hear, do we do it the same way as we respond to what we see?
  13. Could you see something and respond as if you had heard it? What would this mean?
  14. Could you hear something and respond as if you had seen it? What would this mean?

 

IDL TIFF file

image source: shutterstock

 

Return to the questions above – try re-asking them about seeing and hearing God. (e.g.; Are there times when God is heard but not seen? Could you hear what God says but not listen to God? Does it make a difference if you see God as a parent or as a friend? Do you expect God to see you better than other people? In what ways?)

Leading Idea: Seeing and Naming God

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Leading Idea: Seeing and Naming God

Hagar’s journey is unique in that she both sees and names God. Both this act of seeing (she seeing God and God seeing her; naming God) are obscurely phrased in Hebrew and open to different understandings and translations. The significance of this is captured in the reading by Rabbi Michal Shekel. Firstly, the difference between hearing and seeing is an important one – both literally and the way we use these terms metaphorically (phrases like “I see what you mean” and the notion of insight). Secondly, we have the significance of seeing another’s face. You might like to explore together why the face has unique status in terms of our access to others.
There are further resources in this booklet for exploring these: see: “Face”, p.45 and on naming and naming God. Relevant exercises and discussion plans can be found in those sections.

Secondary Source: What’s in a name – UPS, MS, HS

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Secondary Sources: What’s in a name

Excerpts from: Rabbi Michal Shekel: The Women’s Torah Commentary, Elyse Goldstein (ed.), (Jewish Lights, NY), 2000, pp.57-62
Parshat Lech lecha contains within it two journeys, each of which encompasses a spiritual and physical aspect. The first is the well known story of Abram (Bereshit 12). The second is subtler but still powerful. It is the journey undertaken by Sarai’s handmaiden Hagar….
One can discover three occurrences in this parashah that mirror Abram’s experience. First, Hagar leaves home, her personal Lechi lach, “go forth” (fem.)… Second, God makes a brit, a covenant, with her, in which she is promised that she will have numerous offspring… Third, she is told her son’s name before his birth. But here the parallel ends; for, most significantly, Hagar gives God a name. Abram has never done this, nor has anyone else.
What courage! In these early chapters of the Torah, the act of naming is highly significant. It is both empowering and embracing….
Hagar names God el ro’i “God who sees me.” This is in response to God’s naming of her child Yishma’el, which means “God hears”. In naming God, Hagar affirms that God sees as well as hears. Here too is a parallel with Abraham. After the Akedah, the binding of Isaac, Abraham calls the mountain where he offers his son “Adonai sees”…

Exercise: Seeing – PS

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Exercise: Seeing

What does the word “see” or “seeing” mean in each of these phrases?

  1. “It is such a clear night, I can see a lot of stars”
  2. “See that you keep these in the correct order”
  3. “When you mention summer, I see the beach and sand in my mind”
  4. “He always sees the best in people”
  5. “I see what you mean. I hadn’t thought of it like that”
  6. “Please see the guests to the door”
  7. “He always sees the best in people”

 

Below are some possible ways of understanding the use of the word ‘see’. Can you match the meanings below with the phrases above?

(a) observe

(b) imagine

(c) consider the fact that

(d) understand

(e) accompany

(f) pay attention to

(g) recognize

(h) visualize

(i) _____________

 

Return to look at Bereshit 16:13 – the word ‘see’ is used 4 times – which senses of ‘see’ could be meant on each of these occasions? How do different meanings of ‘see’ change how we understand the passage?

 

Exercise: Seeing – MS, HS, A

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Exercise: Seeing

What does the word “see” or “seeing” mean in each of these phrases?

  1. “It is such a clear night, I can see a lot of stars”
  2. “See that you keep these in the correct order”
  3. “Seeing is believing”
  4. “See, I told you so!!”
  5. “When you mention summer, I see the beach and sand in my mind”
  6. “He always sees the best in people”
  7. “You are just not willing to see it my way!”
  8. “Don’t worry, I have enough money to see me through”
  9. “Why do you only see her faults?”
  10. “Seeing as you are already up, can you please pour me a glass of water?”
  11. “I see what you mean. I hadn’t thought of it like that”
  12. “The last 10 years have seen a sweeping revolution in IT support.”
  13. “I want to see how she handles this on her own.”
  14. “I’ll see to that”
  15. “Please see the guests to the door”

 

Below are some possible ways of understanding the use of the word ‘see’. Can you match the meanings below with the phrases above?

(a) observe

(b) imagine

(c) take note

(d) consider the fact that

(e) understand

(f) perceive

(g) accompany

(h) comprehend

(i) gain insight

(j) recognize

(k) pay attention

(l) take care of

(m) visualize

(n) experience

(o) __________________

 

Return to look at Bereshit 16:13 – the word ‘see’ is used 4 times – which senses of ‘see’ could be meant on each of these occasions? How do different meanings of ‘see’ change how we understand the passage?

Activity: Seeing – LPS

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 Activity: Seeing

  1. As you do this, pay attention not only to what your senses pick up, but also about what is involved in the act of ‘seeing’ what is around you (you might find it helpful to think how each of the meanings of ‘seeing’ listed below are involved).
  2. Find a place to sit (it might be outdoors, inside a room, amongst people, or somewhere you are alone – you decide).
  3. Sit quietly for 10 minutes and concentrate on what you can see around you.
  4. Write down your observations. Come back and share them with your class.

 

Some ways we use the word ‘seeing’

(a) observe  (“I can see what you are doing”)

(b) understand  (“I see what you mean”)

(c) recognize  (“there are so any white cars in this parking lot it is hard to see mine”)

(d) visualize  (in a furniture store: “I can just see us sitting at this table in our kitchen”)

(e)___________________ (another meaning)

Activity: Seeing – UPS

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Activity: Seeing

Sitting in the circle, one person begins by describing someone else in the circle very carefully – other’s in the circle need to figure out who it is. The first person in the circle to guess who it is correctly has the next turn in describing someone else in the circle. To make it more difficult, start with describing the more general features (that s everal others share) before describing more unique features of the person (eg, ‘brown hair’ before ‘red ribbons in their hair’)

Discussion Plan: Seeing – LPS

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Discussion Plan: Seeing

In each case, make sure to explain your answers / responses.

  1. Are there times you can be heard but not seen? Describe come situations
  2. Are there times you are seen but are not heard? Describe some situtations
  3. Can you look at someone but not really see them?
  4. Can you see someone without looking at them?
  5. Can you hear what someone says but not listen to them?
  6. Do you expect friends to see you better than other people? In what ways?
  7. Is there a difference between the way parents see you and the way teachers see you?
  8. Is there a difference between the way parents see you and the way your friends see you
  9. Do you think all your friends see you the same way?
  10. Could a stranger see you better than your friends do?Could someone who disagrees with you see your point better than people who agree with you?
IDL TIFF file

image source: shutterstock

 

Return to the questions above – try re-asking them about seeing and hearing God. (e.g.; Are there times when God is heard but not seen? Could you hear what God says but not listen to God? Does it make a difference if you see God as a parent or as a friend? Do you expect God to see you better than other people? In what ways?)

Discussion Plan: Seeing and Hearing – UPS

Download the discussion plan here: Word word-doc-icon PDF pdf-icon

 

Discussion Plan: Seeing and Hearing

In each case, make sure to explain your answers / responses.

  1. Are there times you can be heard but not seen? Describe come situations
  2. Are there times you are seen but are not heard? Describe some situtations
  3. Can you look at someone but not really see them?
  4. Can you see someone without looking at them?
  5. Can you hear what someone says but not listen to them?
  6. Do you expect friends to see you better than other people? In what ways?
  7. Is there a difference between the way parents see you and the way teachers see you?
  8. Is there a difference between the way parents see you and the way your friends see you?
  9. Do you think all your friends see you the same way?
  10. Could a stranger see you better than your friends do?
  11. Could someone who disagrees with you see your point better than people who agree with you?
IDL TIFF file

image source: shutterstock

 

Return to the questions above – try re-asking them about seeing and hearing God. (e.g.; Are there times when God is heard but not seen? Could you hear what God says but not listen to God? Does it make a difference if you see God as a parent or as a friend? Do you expect God to see you better than other people? In what ways?)

Intertextual Sources: Deciding when to leave – Reasons not to leave – MS, HS, A

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Intertextual Source:  Deciding when to leave – Reasons not to leave

Look up these further references in the Torah: What do they tell us about reasons people have for leaving and reasons they have for staying? In what ways do they involve ‘going from’ and in what ways are they a matter of ‘going to’?

  1. Bereshit 12: 10 – Abram goes to Egypt
  2. Bereshit 27: 41-45 Ya’akov leaves the family home
  3. Bereshit 30:25 – 31:18 – Ya’akov decides to leave Laban.
  4. Ruth1:12-19 – Story of Ruth. Orpha decides to leave Naomi, but Ruth decides to stay with her.