Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Gambling' in Seminary.

Wednesday morning, 
I woke up entirely too early. 

But it was for a good cause. 
My mom asked me to help her with her seminary lesson
and of course I did (to keep up my title of favorite child, obviously ;))

(Seminary is a church class for high school students
held each morning before their regular classes. 
The class rotates through the different sets of scripture each year:
New Testament, 
Old Testament, 
Book of Mormon, and 
Church History/Doctrine and Covenants.)

This year it is focused on the Old Testament. 

Since the class my mom teaches only has 5 students
(it typically starts at 5:30 a.m.), 
she teaches them here at our house.

Wednesday was the last day of the semester
(and therefore the last day of seminary until mid-January) 
....a party was in order :)

And how perfect that it is also

This is where I came into the scenario.
My mom asked me if I would make latkes for the class.
Latkes (potato pancakes) are a pretty typical Hanukkah food,
and though I've eaten them before, 
I haven't ever made them. 
And was it an adventure!

 The recipe I used to make them was quite simple and can be found here

While I was making the Latkes,
I was able to listen to the lesson my mom had prepared
and learned/relearned a lot about the celebration of Hanukkah.

First the class sang the "Hebrew Song"
my mom taught them in a previous lesson.
It's a song I know quite well because it's one of my mom's favorites :) 
It's called, "Havenu Shalom Aleichem" 
and it means "Peace we bring to you".
It's a pretty complicated song....
it just says "Havenu Shalom Aleichem" 
over and over and over again.

Since I know you're dying to hear what it sounds like, 
I found a recording of it on youtube...
(isn't the Internet just great?!)

(after the first 20 seconds or so, it just repeats again and 
again,  a little faster each time.)

Now...listen to the first 20 seconds again and picture 
5 high schoolers (3 boys 2 girls) singing that at 6:35 a.m.
hahaha. was a pretty...pitiful performance, 
but I'll give them credit because it was so stinkin' early.

After that, she shared with them the basic history of Hanukkah
and the miracle of the oil lasting 8 days when they only had enough for 1.

Next my mom explained about dradles.
(Que the "Dradle song," right?!)

She explained that each of the sides of the dradle
have the first letter of each word in the phrase
"Nes gadol haya sham"
"A great miracle happened there." 
She also said that in Jerusalem
they make special dradles that say 
"Nes gadol haya po"
"A great miracle happened here"
I thought that was really interesting.

Typically the dradle game is played by putting something in the middle of the table
and then each person spins the dradle and depending on what you land on it means different things.
The person can either get:
Nun= none (nothing)
Sham/po='put in one' (player must give up something by putting it in the middle of the table)

(As my mom pointed out, it's actually a form of gambling. 
"But we won't emphasize that part!" she said.
I'm sure she'll be pleased as punch to see that's what I chose to title this blog post :)
Actually, as many times as I've told her about my blog
she's still never read it, so maybe she'll never know... :))
Instead of playing the traditional way,
my mom had the idea of playing
"Scripture Mastery Dradle."
A 'spin' on the classic dradle game.

She would read a scripture mastery scripture
and then they had 15 seconds to find where the scripture was.
If they were able to find it in time, 
they would spin their dradle
and depending on which side it landed on, 
they would get a certain number of points.

(this was particularly funny because one of the boys 
had apparently never seen/played with a dradle before
so at first he was just tossing it on the table (like you would dice)
and then he saw someone spin theirs and  exclaimed "Oh! THAT'S how you do it?!!?" haha.)

Finally, my latkes were done.
I mainly get uneasy about the fact that they have a grey-ish tint, (haha)
but they are actually pretty tasty!
. . . Much too greasy to eat without feeling guilty though.
Not to mention the fact that you can just feel grease on you for the rest of the day...
4 out of the 5 students were brave enough to try them. 
They said they were pretty good.
Then I switched gears and started making regular pancakes.

It wasn't long before it was time for them to get headed to school.

After the cleanup
we were exhausted! 

...but there was much Christmas shopping to be done! 

About 6 hours later I finally got my nap in.
I intended it for be about 45 minutes...
I woke up about 4 hours later, still exhausted!
I don't understand how I was able to do early early morning Seminary all during high school
and still stay awake to do it week after week! 

All in all,
it was well worth the small sacrifice to get up early
 to get a little taste of Jewish culture.
It made me even more excited for my upcoming adventure
(and being able to learn a little Hebrew is going to be sweet). 

Less than two weeks and I will be in the land where the dradles say 
"A great miracle happened here." 
Because a great miracle DID happen there...
Though the one I have in mind has very little to do with oil.

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