Teshuva: Putting the Pieces Back Together

NCSYers learn what Teshuva is all about and the mechanics of fixing a relationship in a hands-on way.

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  1. Cut (or carefully rip up) the letter into 12-14 pieces, jigsaw-style.
  2. Give each teen one piece, or scatter the pieces around the room that the teens will be using. Make sure they know the pieces will be needed for an activity later, so they don’t toss them in the garbage! They will likely read their scrap, be intrigued by the piece that they can read, and turn to other teens to try and put the letter together themselves.
  3. If there are more than 12-14 teens, consider either writing up multiple letters or making copies of this one and handing the pieces out in groups. To make it less confusing, pieces from different groups should be marked on the back (Group 1, 2, etc). If multiple letters are in use, they can be filled in to reflect different relationships and made more specific. (For example: a friend apologizing to a friend for stealing his homework, or a child apologizing to their parent for ignoring curfew.)
  4. After the teens have put the letter/s back together, ask one of them to read the letter out loud, ideally dramatically/emotionally.
  5. Using the discussion questions, discuss the letter.
  6. Discuss how one can fix a relationship after breaking someone’s trust: How can you show that you won’t just do it again?
  7. Bring up our relationship with God as a possible subject of the letter, and Teshuva as the steps to repair that relationship. Return to the letter and have the teens identify the 4 steps.
    The two sources from the Rambam (included) show the 4 steps of Teshuva, and highlight the idea that through Teshuva, we can fix and improve our relationship with Hashem.