One - Fifty Minute Class Period
The learner will:
- summarize, analyze, interpret, and paraphrase selected texts that contain ethical mitzvot (commandments) concerning the relationship between people (ben adam l’chavero).
- demonstrate an awareness of how these texts can be used in their own lives.
- identify and relate personal experiences in which the mitzvot ben adam l’chavero have played a role in their own lives.
- acknowledge the implications/consequences of their choices/actions.
- demonstrate an ability to assess one’s choice to act--leading to moral growth.
Attachment Three: The Work of My (Divine) Hands: What? When? and How? asks that students keep a personal reflection mitzvah journal.
Read this story to the class:
One bright sunny afternoon a well dressed young businessman was speeding to an appointment along a curvy mountain road in Italy in his convertible with the top down. He was enjoying the sun and wind in his face but perhaps driving a bit too fast for the condition of this mountain road. Rounding blind curves, he would honk his horn to alert on-coming traffic that he was approaching. On one such curve, after he had honked his warning, a bright eyed young woman also in a convertible met him coming from the opposite direction. As they passed each other, she gestured and yelled out to him, “Pig!” This angered the young man. “How could someone be in such a foul mood and so rude on such a beautiful day?” he fumed. As he proceeded around the curve his car struck a pig that had wandered onto the road.
- Engage the learners in a conversation about what this story is trying to convey to its readers. (i.e. Things are not always as they might first appear.)
- Place the learners in groups of two or three. Give each group a copy of Attachment One: The Worksheet and a topic from the following list.
Teacher Note: Feel free to add topics that might be more appropriate to recent class discussions/studies.(Drugs, Atomic Energy, Free Speech, Motor Vehicles, Airport Security, Modern Agricultural Methods, Growth Hormones, etc.) Have each group record all of the positive and negative aspects related to their selected topic
- Once these lists have been completed, call on learners to share the results of their group’s brainstorming, leading them toward the conclusion that almost everything we say, do, or possess can have either or both positive and negative consequences. No technology, possession, or human skill or activity is inherently good or evil rather it is the choices we make in the circumstances in which we find ourselves that determine the nature of the consequences.
- Distribute a copy of Attachment Two: The Work of our (Divine) Hands: What? to each learner in the group and review the sheet to be certain that the learners understand the What? that is written there and what is being required of them to complete filling out the sheet.
- Have each small group complete the reading of Column One and discuss and complete Column Two based on their individual small group discussions.
Teacher Note: Consensus is not the goal; multiple responses are welcome.
- Have each small group, in turn, share what they wrote as a response in Column Two and allow for whole group questions/discussion regarding anything that is shared.
- Following this discussion, have each student, individually, complete Columns Three and Four reminding them that being aware of the implication of one’s actions and then assessing them is what potentially leads to moral growth.
- To conclude this lesson, distribute individual copies of Attachment Three: The Work of My (Divine) Hands: What? When? and How? Have the students record their responses to the prompts found on this sheet either on the sheet or in a journal--if journaling is already something that the class has/is using as an instructional strategy. The duration of this writing activity is left to the teacher’s discretion.
Learner involvement in total and small group discussions and the depth of thought and understanding evidenced in the learner’s responses to Attachment Two: The Work of our (Divine) Hands: What? and to Attachment Three:The Work of My (Divine) Hands: What? When? and How? will provide the learner assessment for this lesson.
Optional- Additional copies of Attachment Three:The Work of My (Divine) Hands: What? When? and How? could be distribute to the learners to be taken home and given to “interview” family members.
Teacher Note: Due to the potentially sensitive nature of this Extension activity it should suffice to serve merely as a “conversation starter” between the learner and his/her family and not as a homework-type activity to be handed in.
Lesson Developed By:Shira Hammerman
Our hands have the ability to hurt as well as heal. Our voices can be respectful or harmful.
Our power can be used to destroy or to create social justice. Our tradition is full of reminders of how we are to treat other people.
Directions: Read each text below (Column One). Explain what the words actually mean, without commentary (Column Two); add your personal commentary as to what you believe the text means (Column Three) and finally, give examples of what you could possibly do to help make this text become a reality in your life. (Column Four)
What the text means
What the text means to me
Apply It! When and How Can I Do It?
You shall not copy the practices of the land of Egypt where you dwelt, or of the land of Canaan to which I am taking you;
The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning.
You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.
You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich;
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt
Open your mouth on behalf of those who cannot speak.
A DIVINE JOURNAL
Every day we have opportunities to demonstrate that we are doing the work of Divine creation! Think about your day and describe ways that you are a model of G-d’s best work!
The circumstances: What was going on?
The choices: What could you have done?
My choice: What did you do?
The consequences: How did your actions impact the situation?
If it happened again, what would you change about what you did (if anything)?
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.