Monday, October 04, 2010

The Scapegoat: Leaving Blame Behind
by Charna Rosenholtz

Congregation Nevei Kodesh, a renewal shul in Boulder Colorado, is under the leadership of senior Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, and assistant Rabbi Aviva Bass. Teen programming was held this year and taught by Maggid Charna Rosenholtz, where she led them in a Storahtelling program for post bar and bat mitzvah kids. In our exploration of the first Yom Kippur we explored sacrifice as a purification ritual and what the modern ways to fulfill this ancient practice are.

Our Storahtelling questions, designed to help the teens relate to the story, also explored the different perspectives of the High Priest, person leading the goat to the wilderness, and the goat himself! As the kids expanded their points of view, they gleaned that there was more to the story than first met the eye. There were many inventive goat stories, of how it felt to carry the burden of a larger community. One girl was angry, another felt the honor yet was sad to be dying. The morning culminated with one boy realizing that prayer may be the best way to exchange giving something up, without sacrificing a goat, or any other animal. The teens were all fully engaged and enthusiastic in their exploration of the first Yom Kippur.

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