Sheep to Shawl

9 Cloth-Making Melachot WHAT EDUCATORS SAY:
  • Most positive experience!
  • Both the 7th and 8th grades thanked me for inviting you. 
  • The children will look back on this day and remember it far better than the 8 mishnayot they could have memorized in the same period.
  • I’m totally blown away with what you do…. Kids are still talking about it 7 years later.
Diane at the Spinning Wheel
Spark your creativity and enjoy feeling natural products as you learn hands-on the Mishna’s 9 melachot of cloth-making:
Ephraim working the Drop Spindle
  1. Calm a sheep, then shear (gozez) some wool without hurting it.
  2. See how wool was washed (milaben) differently in Rashi's time for water-proofing or dyeing and learn how, in Rambam's day, wool was cleaned in a way too dangerous to try in the workshop!
  3. Comb (minapetz) wool with real hand carders, then discover how strong fluffy wool becomes when twisted—and why.
  4. Twirl a drop spindle to spin (toveh) roving into yarn. Watch wool get spun on a spinning wheel.
  5. Dye (tzovea) wool;
  6. Warp (mesech),
  7. Weave (oreg), and
  8. Cut (potzea) finished cloth on a reusable mini-loom you can keep,
  9. Throw a shuttle and weave with batei nirin on a loom.
Based on books by Rabbi Baruch Chait, Rabbi P. Bodner, and Dayan I. Gukovitzki; lecture-demo by Gukovitzki and MD Sheep & Wool Festival.
11th & 12th graders at Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Rockville, MD, learn to calm a sheep (R) & clip wool (gozez) (L) without hurting sheep.

Young girl prepares to “throw” boat shuttle, left hand, through shed of multi-harness (batei nirin) loom to accomplish oreg.
Girl_with_sheep Photo: Jeff Powers, Montgomery Journal
Shoshana at the loom

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