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storyofjonah

Teshuvah - The Story of Jonah B”H

Geared towards ages 7-12

Use the Shlock Rock song "Yonah and the Whale" from the CD Shlock Rock Meets the Prophets to talk about the story of Yonah before Yom Kippur. This song is a parody of Brian Setzer's “Jump, Jive and Wail”.

Goals: To reinforce the story of Yonah and to spark discussion on the concepts of Teshuvah, forgiveness and attitude changes.

Other related Shlock Rock songs: "High Holy Days" from the CD Learning is Good, "Baruch HaGever" from the CD Sgt. Shlockers Magical History Tour, "Fast Days of the Year" from the CD WoodShlock, "Tshuva" from the CD Greatest Hits 10 - The Early Years, "Turn to God" and "Spiritual DVD" from the CD God Sent Us Email, "Tekia" from the CD Shlock Rock Almost Broadway, "First Step" from the CD Lenny and the Shlockers, "Positive Thinking" from the CD Shlock Rock Manual for the Moral Minded, and "Aseret Yemay Teshuvah" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3.

Materials Needed: CD with the songs “Yonah and the Whale” and “Turn to God” (and other suggested songs above), the lyrics to both of the songs, CD player, Tanach, paper and markers.

Step One: Play the Shlock Rock song “Yonah and the Whale” after giving out the lyrics. Then have the children retell the story of Jonah as they remember it. What details are missing? Check in the Tanach to compare stories.

Step Two: Have student role play the story in pairs with one being Hashem and the other being Jonah. (Discuss the concept of forgiveness as well.)

Jonah: You do not want to go to Nineveh.
The people of Nineveh do not believe in G-d.
You do not think G-d should forgive them.

Hashem: Send Jonah to Nineveh.
You will punish the people if they do not believe in G-d.
You always forgive.

Step Three: Play the song “Turn to God” after handing out the lyrics. Teshuvah is a three step process. Admitting what you did, apologizing to the person who was affected, and then turning to Hashem. Start a discussion about the power of prayer and ways to talk to Hashem. Remind the children that talking to Hashem in their native language can be very powerful! (You can also check out the song "Three Times a Day" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time.)

Step Four: Blow the shofar for the class. Ask what one of the Shofar’s purposes is? WAKE UP! Begin a discussion about Teshuvah as it relates to Yom Kippur, Jonah and citizens of Nineveh. What is Teshuvah? Brain storm different ways the children can make Teshuvah and post them on the board. Have them figure out a person that they need to apologize to (parent, sibling, friend, etc…) and have the students make Teshuvah cards for them saying what they did that they are sorry for and how they will change that behavior. Remember sometimes it is not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that can be a problem. (See the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes – it is about a girl named Chrysanthemum and how her classmates treat her based on her name).

Step Four: Play the song “Turn to God” after handing out the lyrics. Teshuvah is a three step process. Admitting what you did, apologizing to the person who was affected, and then turning to Hashem. Start a discussion about the power of prayer and ways to talk to Hashem. Remind the children that talking to Hashem in their native language can be very powerful! (You can also check out the song "Three Times a Day" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time.)

Conclusion: If you were Jonah, how would you have handled things? How can you positively change your behavior in the New Year