Limmud- It’s not all fun and (card) games, a Tisha B’av Lesson

For Tisha Bav, I wanted to do something experiential that would address the source of conflict and of sinat chinam which is the Hebrew word for small conflicts that get bigger and bigger and conflicts that arise when people think they are playing by the same rules but really are not. The way we went about this was to have a card game based experience that would teach about how to resolve conflicts in mature and healthy ways. At the end of the game, we would then debrief with each edah to talk about what they learned about conflict, conflict resolution, and sinat chinam. The game experience we used is called Barnga which helps to create a fun card-game tournament where each team of four people is literally playing the game by a different set of rules. Over the course of the game, partner pairs rotate to other groups and end up playing a game where each person is playing by a different set of rules. The catch is that the game is played in silence, and players are only allowed to use gestures and pictures to communicate with the other players.

The highlight was our experience with Solelim, who grasped what was happening in the game early on, and because they realized that each person was coming to the situation with very different expectations they were able to create the most cohesive playing experience. The goal of the activity was to help the chanichim understand that each person comes into a situation with “a different set of rules” and if we can work to understand them and accept them and be kind then we will all be much more equipt to handle and manage conflict that might arise from this kind of cultural connection.

  • This post was co-written by Yona Israel and Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone member of tzevet limmud.


Categories: Limud