This Week’s Shoafim Story: The Case of the Message in the Sky
Shoafim Stories were composed by last summer’s Shoafim as part of their Take Ramah Home project. Each Shoafim Story is inspired by a weekly Torah portion, and concludes with discussion questions which relate each story and its lessons to their Torah portion. We hope that you will take the opportunity to read these stories and questions with your family, and we encourage you to post your family’s responses to the discussion questions, in the comments section of this blog post.
Shoafim Story: The Case of the Message in the Sky
Inspired by Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)
In this Torah portion, the new Pharaoh does not remember Joseph. Fearing their rise in population, Pharaoh makes the Israelites his slaves. Pharaoh then demands that all Israelites baby boys be killed upon birth. Moses' mother puts her son in a basket in the river and he is saved by Pharaoh's daughter. When he is an adult, Moses kills an Egyptian who was beating his Israelite slave. Moses flees to Midian and marries Tzipporah. God appears before Moses in a burning bush and tells him to free the Israelites from slavery. An apprehensive Moses returns to Egypt, where he and his brother Aaron demand that Pharaoh free the Israelite slaves. Pharaoh refuses and God promises to punish him.
The Case of the Message in the Sky
On an island in the pacific. It is deserted and 5 people were abandoned by a ship. They are looking for help and scared when they see a message in the clouds…
Tina: Help us! We’re stranded on an island.
Bob: I can’t believe the ship left without us.
Anna: I know. How could they forget us? That’s bad! ZEH RAH (זה רע)!
Allie: I just want to go home!
Bill: Don’t we all?
Anna: We were on our way to Japan!
Tina: I was excited to go to Japan. It could’ve been such a cool trip!
Bob: Wait a minute, there is something in the sky!
Allie: I think it’s words.
Tina: What does it say?
Bill: Let me try to read it.
Bill: It says “go through the forest”
(Same time) Bob: What does that mean?
Allie: What forest??
Tina: Wait. I’m not so sure about this. I’m afraid.
Anna: We don’t even know what’s in a forest. I’m scared too.
Bob: Guys, what else is there to do?
Bill: That’s true. But what if it is wrong? Don’t forget that this is only a message in the sky!
Allie: I think we should go into the forest! We have nothing to lose.
Tina: I agree. Let’s look around to find the forest.
Bill: Look! It’s over there!
Bob: He’s right!
Allie: Let’s go!! I hope this gets us home!
The five start to travel through the forest, which becomes very difficult and exhausting. At one point Anna falls down.
Bill: What are you doing Anna? You’re wasting our time.
Tina: Come on, Anna!
Allie: She fainted!
Bob: We need to get her water! Let’s hurry through the forest.
The five of them continue through the forest with lots of obstacles, including going over hot lava and crossing a river. During this time Anna wake up. She was tired!
Bob: We are almost there! We are almost out!
Allie: Well, this was a very hard journey.
Anna: look! A SHIP!!!!!
Tina: RUN! Everyone RUN!!!
Anna: I think we made it!
Bill: Get the ship’s attention!
All scream: WAIT! HELP! HELP! SOS!
The ship comes to Island and are all saved!
In Shemot, the burning bush gave a message to Moshe to take the Jewish people out of Egypt. In this story, Bob, Bill, Anna, Tina and Allie get a mission and follow through. They both had obstacles but still completed the mission. The moral of the story is to not give up on your mission.
1. Why was it so easy for the group to listen to a message from the sky?
2. How would you have responded to a message like that?
3. How is this different or similar to when Moshe saw the burning bush?
4. What are the things that motivate you to follow your goals? What things make it difficult to reach your goals?
We encourage you to post your answers to the discussion questions in the comments section of this post.