Category Archives: Bereshit_1-2:4

Kids’ Questions: Kol HaLev, Cleveland Ohio

These questions were asked by a 5th – 7th grade community of inquiry that meets as part of Kol HaLev’s shabbat morning programming. This inquiry convened October 2014. Question-askers’ names were attributed, but have been removed.

  1. Why are there no more sea monsters? ()  A
  2.  Why is the world today different than the new world described? ()  A | B
  3. Why is light seen to be good and not darkness? ()  B
  4. Why does God see everything He makes as good? ()  B
  5. What if God didn’t see everything He made as good?  ()  B
  6. Did God use trial and error, and not mention / “see as good” the failures?  ()  B
  7. When God created things, did he eliminate some? ()  A | B
  8. Why did God decide life had to eat vegetation? ()   C
  9. Why did God create all these diseases? ()  C
  10. Why separate ‘water-above’ from ‘water-below’? ()  C
  11. (from 4, above) Why did God at first see everything as good, but later many things (cancer, war, ebola) turned out to be bad? ()  A | B | C

Chosen categorizations:
A= why or how things change/changed (from original creation to today)
B= nature of goodness / recognizing / judging goodness
C= why is the world this way / why was the world created this way?

Discussion Plan: Giving and Receiving Blessings

Discussion Plan: Giving and Receiving Blessings

  1. Can you be blessed with good health? If so, what does this mean?
  2. Can a day be blessed? Explain
  3. Can we be a blessing to our parents? If so, what does this mean?
  4. Is there a difference between ‘being blessed’ and ‘receiving a blessing’?
  5. If I bless you saying “May God grant you long life”, is that the same as wishing you a long life? hoping you will have a long life?
  6. Can people give blessings, or only God? If people can give them, do you think there is a difference between a blessing given by God and a blessing given by a person? Explain.
  7. Can anyone receive a blessing? Any thing receive a blessing?
  8. Can anyone give a blessing?
  9. Can a blessing ever be a burden?
  10. Does giving a blessing guarantee that the content of the blessing will happen or come true?
  11. Can you believe in blessings without believing in curses?
  12. Can you believe in blessings without believing in God?
  13. What blessing would you wish for?
  14. What blessing would you like to give to someone else?

Leading Idea: The act of Blessing

Download pdf     Leading Idea 5:  The act of Blessing

In this passage God blesses three things.

  • The animal kingdom – the first blessing is to flourish and ‘become many’
  • Human Beings – the second blessing is to flourish, become many,  to  subdue/tame  the rest of creation and have dominance / predominance in relation to it.
  • Shabbat – the third blessing is to be made holy / sanctified.

What is it to bless something / someone? Is a blessing something conferred by one being onto another? (without their participation) or is it relational? What is the difference between blessing animals, persons, and a day, and the difference in the content of these three blessings?


Discussion Plan: Part-Whole relationships (Good).

Discussion Plan: Part whole relations

  1. Can a person be a good person if they make mistakes?
  2. Can every feature of someone’s face be beautiful without their face being beautiful?
  3. Can every act someone does be good without the person being good?
  4. Can a thief be a good person?
  5. If you share something that is good with someone else, does that mean you are left with half as much ‘goodness’ (can you think of examples and counter examples?)
  6. Does a good person have to be good all the time?
  7. How do you decide whether something is good?
  8. Can a good toy be good even if it no longer works?
  9. If having one slice of cake is good, is having 4 slices going to be 4 times as good?
  10. Can a team be a good team when one of the players is not a good player?
  11. Can all the players in a team be good players, but the team be a bad team?


Discussion Plan: ‘Good’ and ‘Very good’

Discussion Plan:   ‘Good’ and ‘Very good’

  1. What is the difference between getting a ‘good’ mark and a ‘very good mark’
  2. What is the difference between having a ‘good’ day and having a ‘very good’ day
  3. Would you always choose something that is ‘very good’ over something that is ‘good’
  4. What makes something ‘very good’ – is it just more good (good x2) ?
  5. Can something be ‘very good’ to the point where it is bad?
  6. Is ‘perfect’ the extreme limit of ‘good’ (going from good to very good to perfect)?
  7. Is it possible that if something has the potential to be good, it also has the potential to be very good? Is it always the case? (give examples/ counterexamples)


Activity: ‘Good’ and ‘Very good’

Activity:   ‘Good’ and ‘Very good’

Give out slips of paper with the following sentence – ask everyone to complete it

Collect the slips and put them in a hat – each student pulls one out and reads it

The class has to discuss it and decide if (or under what circumstances) it would be true.

 While ____  is good, ____ is very good.


This could also lend itself well to short skits. After reading out all the statements and discussing them, the class could vote on the four or five most interesting ones. Then small groups of 3-4 students could make a skit out of a particular statement.

Discussion Plan: Good Acts

Are these acts good in themselves? Or are they good  because  the outcome after doing them is good?

  1.   Getting a high mark in a test
  2.   Cleaning up your room
  3.   Cheering up a friend who is sad
  4.    Looking after your younger brother or sister
  5.    Looking after yourself
  6.    Sleeping soundly (getting a good night’s sleep?)
  7.    Helping someone when your asked, but not enjoying it
  8.    Keeping a promise
  9.    Solving a riddle
  10.    Smiling
  11.    Telling the truth
  12.    Not telling the truth in order to protect someone’s feelings
  13.   Refraining from  Teasing someone

Discussion Plan: Recognizing and Judging what is good.

Discussion Plan: Recognizing and Judging something as ‘good’

Which of these things are good? Which might be good? (and on what criteria?)

  •       A plane that is very safe in the air
  •      A pen that writes very nicely
  •      A gun that shoots very accurately
  •      A gun that doesn’t shoot accurately
  •      A warm blanket in winter
  •      A broken sewing machine
  •      A broken toy
  •      A warm blanket in summer
  •      A haircut
  •      An expensive painting
  •      A table that is old and scratched but is just the right height to sit at comfortably

Discussion Plan: on ‘Good’

Discussion Plan: ‘Good’

1) Can something be good, but not be perfect?

2) Can something be good but unpleasant?

3) If something is perfect, is it always good?

4) Is a perfect lie a good lie?

5) Is it good to tell a perfect lie?

6) Do you think you can decide if something is good by looking at it?

7) Can you decide whether people are good by looking at them?

8) Do you think the world is a good world?