This week’s portion, on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana is Nitzavim: אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם, “On this day, you shall stand.”(Deuteronomy 29:9 – 31:30)
What does it mean to ‘stand up for’ or ‘stand up to someone’? What does it mean to ‘take a stand.’ Learning to trust oneself and stand up for someone, or something you believe to be true, despite the naysayers, takes strength and self-confidence, qualities that we can work on over time.
Seat the students in a circle. Toss a rubber or foam ball between them. As a student catches the ball encourage that student to say one thing that she is good at and something that someone else does well before tossing the ball back to you (this way you can make sure everyone gets a turn). Learning to recognizing the abilities of others is a way to begin standing up for them and to begin building a strong community.
The New Year! A New Moon! A chance to start over.