What Is Prayer?


Why pray?  As universal as the act of praying may be, the definitions of prayer and the motivations that bring people to pray are broad and difficult to capture. In this lesson, learners will approach this question from an unconventional perspective; by analyzing a poem titled Walk to Caesaria, by Hannah Senesh. In order to enable better understanding of  what motivates someone to pray, students are asked to choose a significant event from their lives, reflect upon it, and compose a personal prayer that articulates their feelings from this experience. The resource also includes listening to musical selections such as the Israeli song, Katan Aleynu, K’mo Tefilla, and Amen, with the goal of broadening the definition of the prayer experience.

The learner will: 

  1. Understand how praying has the capacity to be a meaningful experience

  2. know that there are as many different ways to pray as there are motivations to do so

  3. be able to write a personal prayer reflecting the feelings s/he experienced in a significant event in their lives

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. Further Study option/s linked to JEBD materials and related links

Student handouts, computer, projector

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