When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. This is one of many lessons we will be sharing on teaching Judaic content, lesson planning, models of teaching, differentiated and individualized instruction and learning activities designed to transform the classroom into a Jewish community of cooperative learners. The title of this lesson is “Teach Me the Torah While I’m Standing on One Foot”. Since there are 13 elements in each lesson plan we will divide this lesson plan into two parts. Here is the first part of this lesson on enduring Jewish knowledge.
Title of Lesson: “Teach Me the Torah While I’m Standing on One Foot”
Enduring Jewish Knowledge Rationale for the Lesson: Enduring Jewish knowledge such as the Torah and the Talmud contain a body of wisdom that guides a person regarding how to lead a righteous and meaningful life.
Essential Question/s: What is enduring Jewish knowledge? How do I find enduring Jewish knowledge? What makes Jewish knowledge enduring?
Assessment/s: (Initial, ongoing, and final activities designed to measure what the student has learned)
Rabbi Hillel said: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Now go and study." (Talmud: Shabbat 31a.)
Students individually, in pairs, via classroom discussion and as a homework assignment discuss the answers to these questions: (1) What was the meaning of Rabbi Hillel’s statement? (2) Do his words really contain the essence of the Torah? (3) What does the Torah teach us? (4) What is enduring Jewish knowledge?
Objective/Learning Outcome: (What the student is supposed to learn from this lesson) In his or her own words, the student will be able to define, explain, and give an example of enduring Jewish knowledge.
Name of the Active Learning Procedure: Paired Two Step Timed Interview
Anticipatory Set: (Motivation activity that prepares students for the objective/ learning outcome)
Suggested Motivational Statement:
Explain that Hillel (הלל), a famous Jewish religious teacher who lived in Jerusalem during the time of King Herod around the beginning of the Common Era (d. 10-20 C.E.) was challenged by a non-believer who said: “Teach me the Torah while I’m standing on one foot.” After thinking for a moment Rabbi Hillel replied: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Now go and study." (Talmud: Shabbat 31a.)
On the next post we will share the second part of the lesson entitled, “ Teach Me the Torah While I’m Standing on One Foot”.