A visit from Rabbi Neil

We were thrilled to invite Rabbi Neil from a local Jewish school to come and talk to our pupils today. He lead worship this morning, teaching us all about Jewish Shabbat, what he does to celebrate this in his home and sharing some of the special items he has at home to do this. We were all fascinated and eager to learn about how Jewish people worship.

Afterwards, Rabbi Neil then spent some time working with Puddlebridge class. Puddlebridge have been learning about Judaism this year and were very interested to speak to a practising Jew, and handle some artefacts linked to the faith.

The Rabbi brought some special Holy Books with him to show us. He brought a Torah scroll and several other sacred writings. We were really impressed with how beautiful the Torah was. It was a huge scroll with an intricately designed covering. Rabbi Neil read parts of the Torah to us in Hebrew and even sang some Hebrew to us which is sung in the film ‘The Prince of Egypt’.

We learned about how Hebrew developed from early drawings at that it isn’t written and read from left to right. We were able to handle some of the books very carefully.

Rabbi Neil also explained to us that Jews wear head coverings called Kippah to help them to know where they end and the world begins. These are worn when studying, teaching or saying prayers. Rabbi Neil told us that on special occasions such as Bar mitzvah or weddings, people are often given new Kippahs to celebrate. He brought a selection of these in for us all to try on.

We were able to look at Rabbi Neil’s prayer shawl which is called a Tallit. He showed us that there are four tassels, one on each corner which remind a Jew how to live. He had a special Tallit for Pride month that features the colours of the rainbow.