Good Morning, MrGedalyahu
Illustrations: Yossi Abulafia
“Don’t sell me what I don’t need,” the animals say to Mr. Gedalyahu. Shlomit Cohen-Assif uses rhyme to invite us to think about what we need and what matters to us—and she doesn’t forget to leave room for dreams.
“I have learned something from all my teachers” (Psalm 119:99)
In his dream, Mr. Gedalyahu meets several different creatures who offer him a good deal of wise advice. The Talmudic tractate “Wisdom of the Sages” asks: “Who is wise? The one who learns from everyone” (Avot 4:1). The world about us is full of opportunities to learn, coming from many different sources.
A person who is aware of and open to others can learn from each one important lessons—lessons that will enrich his or her life.
Activities to Do Together at Home
Where do you do your grocery shopping? At the corner store? The supermarket? Perhaps the farmers’ market (shuk)? Together with your children, you could find a cake recipe, make a list of all the necessary ingredients, and go shopping together. Then, when you come back home, bake the cake together and share it with your friends and family!
“Ding-ding when you enter, ding-ding when you leave.” You could make some bells for your door. Fasten some small bells, beads, shells, or even some old spoons or keys together. Hang them on the wall or suspend them from the ceiling right by the open door, and wait for the breeze to make your bells go “ding-ding.”
Mr. Gedalyahu dreams a strange but entertaining dream, mixing the real with the imaginary. Have a conversation about dreams with your children. See if they can recall a dream they dreamed. Talk about how sometimes you might feel unsure whether you’re asleep or awake, and about things that can happen in a dream but not in real life. Give free rein to your imagination—draw pictures of your dreams!
Explain to your children the meaning of the Psalm verse, “I have learned something from all my teachers,” and see if you can recall the wise sayings attributed to the cricket. You could choose one of the cricket’s sayings and draw a picture of it. Do you know any other wise sayings? Every creature can serve as a source of wisdom for us. You could ask your children from whom (or what) they have learned something.
In his dream, Mr. Gedalyahu sells unnecessary things to a hen, a goat, and a bee. Talk about buying things. Do you always buy only what you need? Or are you sometimes tempted to buy something you don’t really need? After reading the story, talk with your children about how to be a wise consumer and about the difference between something you need and something you perhaps want but don’t need – always remembering that dreams, too, hold an important place in our lives.