Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Song Search

Search our song titles for a keyword.

Prayers for the Sick

Click here for a list of people who need your prayers to get well.

Spiritual Stories

To read the latest stories and letters sent to us by our fans, click here.


A great multimedia way to learn the parsha, at Torah4Kids




January 2010, Tevet 5770   [email protected]   

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock


Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 14. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at


Adult Learning: This month’s theme is Shabbat, a wonderful holiday that happens every week! Shabbat begins on Friday evening just before sunset and ends Saturday evening after sunset when you can see 3 stars in the sky. Shabbat is a time for rest so you become ReJewVenated with special energy that will last you all week! It is also a time for community; family, friends, and prayer.  It is traditional to invite guests for Shabbat; this is the mitzvah of Hachnassat Orchim. Shabbat is so special and important it is often referred to as a Queen or as Angels (malcah, or malachei).  Traditionally we sing: “Shalom Aleichem” which welcomes the Shabbat Angels. Shabbat is a time when we can go to the synagogue to celebrate the holiday with our community and read and learn from the Torah. The concept of a day of rest comes from the Torah.  Hashem created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day Hashem rested -Beresheet 2:1-3.  During the Exodus from Egypt, Hashem commanded that manna be gathered daily but a double portion should be gathered on Friday as no manna would fall on the 7th day - Beresheet 16:26. Shabbat is also the 4th of the 10 Commandments - Shemot 20:8-11. Celebrating Shabbat at school is extremely important as sometimes this is the only Shabbat experience some of our children will have! It is our obligation to help create beautiful memories of Shabbat for our children and the future Generations!  Even if families order pizza for dinner, it is still important to light the candles and say the brachot together as a family. After eating Don't Forget To Bench! (Say Birkat HaMazon.) J


Recommended SHLOCK ROCK Shabbat songs: “Shabbat Shalom” “My Zeide”, “Torah” from Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together, My Bobbi ”, “Ima Lights”, “Oh when the Jews”, “When We Make Kiddush”, “We read the Torah”, “Chamisha Chumshei Torah” from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 1, “We got the Torah”, “I Love My Shabbat”, “Abba Always Has  Sefer”, “We Got the Torah”, “Trup”, “Breishit Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3, “Rap for Shabbat”, “10 Commandments” , and “Parsha Song” from Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time! “Sweet Aroma of the Challah” from Greatest Hits 1, “I Got My Shabbat” from God Sent Us Email, “Shabbos Feeling” from GH2, “Mizmor Shir” from Lenny and the Shlockers,  “Making HaMotzee” from Bring Back that Shabbos Feeling is the best! For other fun Shlock Rock songs related to Shabbat click here.   To hear the songs, click these links:  kids songs  or all other songs then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your computer or IPod and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE. Check out Shlock Rock’s newest CD: Shlock Rock No Limits available here. 


Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:


Book: Torah Aura has a great parsha book for parents or teachers called: Morah, Morah Teach Me Torah J which has Family Parsha Discussion Pages to copy and send home for families to share. The book covers all 54 parshiot in the 5 books of the Torah in an Early Childhood friendly manner, with ideas incorporating the multiple intelligences for each parsha.


Discussion:  Listen to some of Shlock Rock’s Shabbat songs. Talk about the ways you and your family celebrate Shabbat. What are some ways we can bring Shabbat peace (Shalom) into our homes?


Activity/At Home Connection:  Create a Shabbat Bag for your classroom. Include in the bag: candle holders, 2 Shabbos candles, Kiddush cup, challah cover and 2 challah rolls and a story book or parsha family discussion sheet (see above), and an easy Shabbat appropriate game to play (matching game using Shabbat pictures) or Shabbat puzzle.  Suggest to families that on Friday night they can prepare a special meal, light the Shabbat candles, sing some of the Shabbat songs suggested above.  Read about the Parsha that will be read that week in shul and encourage conversations with your school families at the Shabbat table. It is traditional to bless the children as well, and this is a nice custom to add to your Preschool/Day School or home Shabbat experience. It makes the children feel special!  


Israel Connection: There are a few ways to help bring a connection to the land of Israel into your Shabbat celebration. When you are eating Challah and grape juice for Friday’s snack, usually around 10:00-10:30 in the morning, you can mention to the children that we are practicing Shabbat at school, but in Israel, it is Shabbat!  Look up Shabbat times in Israel (I would choose the city of Beit Shemesh, which is my area’s sister city and where the king of Shlock lives!) and blow the shofar with your class at the time that Shabbat begins in Israel.  (Israel is 7 hours ahead of us (on the East coast) so if Shabbat begins at 6:00pm, you would blow the shofar at 10:00am (add three hours for West coast time).  Why blow the shofar? In Jerusalem when it is time for Shabbat, there is a Shabbat alarm each week (which in Temple times was a shofar).

Another way to tie Israel into your Shabbat celebration is to learn about the 7 species and try and incorporate as many as you can into your Shabbat experience. Challah is made from wheat, the grape juice is from grapes (2 out of 7 so far!), you could light olive oil instead of candles, have some dates, figs and pomegranates as part of your snack. (See below for Barley) Point out to the children where these foods are grown. If you would like a recipe for 7 species Challah, email me! You could also serve Date honey from Israel with your Challah each week and remind the children that Israel is Eretz Zavat Chalav u’dvash – The land flowing with milk and honey. Teach or make up some niggunim (songs without words).


Activities/Project: Take digital camera pictures of the children “playing” Shabbat at school (or have them illustrate pictures) and create a Shabbat story for your book corner (it could be like a Brown Bear, What do you see kind of book – Children what do you see? I see the nerot/candles looking at me…..) 

Create a Shabbat puppet to tell the Torah stories or to lead the brachot. I have a puppet (made from a dollar store baseball bat with a kipah, googly eyes, and faux fur beard who is Rabbi Menucha who helps out on Shabbat. Menucha means rest.



Rabbi Menucha is on the left.


Alternatively, if you have a job chart, you could have Shabbat Kochavim (stars) or Shabbat Ima and Abba who help with the Shabbat brachot. 


Projects: Have the children make and decorate their own Kiddush cup. You can buy plastic “wine” glasses at party stores and decorate them using tissue paper and a glue wash (make sure to use a plastic insert to drink from). Make a Challah cover using a handkerchief or scrap of fabric from a previous project. Decorate it with fabric markers, or washable markers that you then spray with water to create a tie dye effect. Candle sticks can be made by buying either a kit from Just for the Mitzvah or Kosher Kraft’s or getting glass candle holders from a Dollar store and decorating them with acrylic paints and Modge Podge. You could also create Shabbat napkin rings by decorating recycled paper towel rolls cut into 2 inch rings.  Plant a Shabbat flower garden where the children can pick a few to add to your Shabbat table (that could be one of the jobs of the Shabbat Kochavim!)

Create a Shabbat “feely” bag with different Shabbat items inside for the children to guess what they are (or do the reverse and have them see what’s missing).


Baking/Science:  Make Challah.



 2 packages of yeast (2 1/4 tsp yeast per pack)

 3 T sugar

 4 T flour (see if you can use a wheat and barley mix to use 2 of the 7 species!)

 ¾ cup warm water

 Set aside to “Proof”. If it bubbles, the yeast is good and you can continue (if not, then throw it away and start over).


Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl:

6 (sometimes more) cups of flour

3 eggs

Pinch of salt

½ cup oil

½ to ¾ cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your challah             

1 ¼ cups of warm water


Then add the yeast mixture and mix well. Set aside to rise for about an hour, or more in a warm place (or overnight in the fridge), it should be covered and will double in size.


As it rises (about an hour), preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After the first rising, punch the dough down and cut in half.  Remove an olive size portion to ritually “separate the challah” and make the bracha:

Baruch Atah Ad-nay E l-haynu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hafrish challah. Blessed are You, Hashem, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with the Commandments and commanded us to separate challah. (Although, you only need to make this bracha if the recipe calls for 9 cups of flour or more.)


Out of each half of the dough, make 3 strips to braid.  After braiding the dough, place on a greased pan to rise again. You can then, make an egg wash (1 whole egg and a little water mixed together) to brush over the top of the braided challah.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if desired.  Allow to rise another 20 minutes in a warm place.  Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes.


Books: Once Upon a Shabbos by Jacqueline Jules or The Shabbat Angels by Maxine Segal Handelman or The Shabbat Box by Leslie Simpson. You could also check here for more book ideas.


Story:  The Shabbos Angels: Every Friday night there are 2 Shabbos angels who peek through our windows – a good Shabbos angel and a bad Shabbos angel. If they look in the window and see a big mess, the children are fighting and the Ima is saying “oye vey, oye vey!” Then the bad Shabbos angel says (in an evil voice) “I hope every Shabbos is just like this!” and the good Shabbos angel says: (sniffling) “Amen.”.  BUT if they look in the window (start whispering) and the children are sitting so quietly and the table all set for Shabbat, and the smell of (sniff, sniff) chicken soup and Challah and green beans and chocolate cake (and whatever else the kids add!) then, the good Shabbos angel says (~sigh~) “I hope every Shabbos is just like THIS!” And the bad Shabbos angel (stomping his feet and looking grumpy) says: “Amen!”  This is a fun story to act out too.


Movement: Play the song "Rap for Shabbat"  and dance!! Play some Israeli music from Shlock Rock’s Party Time CD, or Shlock Rock’s CD Osher V'Osher and try some Israeli dancing. Rock down to Making HaMotzee the kids will LOVE it! Rabbi Menucha loves to dance to these songs!!


Housekeeping Corner: Create a special atmosphere in your classroom. Have special toys that you only take out for Shabbat play. Set up a Shabbat table, with a pretty lace or white table cloth, with 2 challot, candles, Kiddush cup, kipot, play vegetables for the soup, and play food for the dinner.  Include a hand-washing cup (called a Klee or Negel vasser) to allow them to practice reciting the blessings (brachot). Challah can be made using recycled panty hose stuffed with poly-fill and braided together. Or you can purchase a wooden set available here.  






***If you would like to opt out L of this FREE newsletter, (or know someone who would like to receive it,J) please email me at [email protected]. To see our back issues go to and click on Educators Corner. Thanks!! ***