Pokeiakh Ivrim /Human Camera Activity – Learning to See with New Eyes
Goal:To use senses of sight to explore the natural world in new ways. To foster an increased sense of trust between students.
Duration: 20 minutes
Audience: All Ages
The name of this exercise is taken from Birchot HaShachar, a morning prayer in which we thank God for the restoration of our senses upon waking. These senses include bodily mobility as we wake, stretch, dress and begin our day. One bracha (blessing) ends in, Pokeiach Ivrim, which means, “who opens our eyes”, thanking God for the gift of sight. The full blessing reads:
Baruch Atah HaShem, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam Pokeiach Ivrim.
Blessed are You, HaShem, Spirit of the World who gives sight to the blind.
1) Begin by asking students what this blessing means to them. How do we gain our sight each morning?
2) After discussing, divide students into pairs.
3) In each pair one person will be the camera and the other will be the photographer.
4) The camera wears a blindfold (or keeps his or her eyes closed) and the photographer leads him/her to a location where they see something beautiful that they would like to “photograph.” The photographer sets up a shot, close up, panorama, etc., by adjusting the camera’s head so as to see the scene. When the photographer taps the camera’s shoulder, tugs on the ear (or takes the blindfold off), the camera then says the words “Pokeiakh Ivrim,” and opens his or her eyes to see what they have been sent to “photograph”.
1) What did it feel like to be led around blindly?
2) What was it like to have your sight restored?
3) Invite students to share some of the objects that they photographed.
4) Did you see something you would not have seen on your own?
5) Did you see something you have never seen before?
6) In what ways are we “blind” in life?
7) What can we do to become less “blind”?
Materials developed by Noam Dolgin and the Teva Learning Center, based on the work of Joseph Cornell.
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