Educational Insights on Jewish Curriculum
Item #: S368
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With his decades of experience in Jewish education, Rabbi Wein presents the perfect mix of textual skills and hashkafa that every school can use.
Though each student must be educated according to his way, Rabbi Wein shows us how teachers and parents can engage children of all ages in our classic Jewish texts.
The Chumash: The Chumash is a holy book like none other, but because we begin learning it as little children, it's easy to fall into the trap of studying it on a superficial level. Certainly, we cannot understand its depth and poetry without Chazal. With insights from the Netziv, the Rambam, and even the rebbetzin of Reb Aryeh Levin, listeners will learn how to teach Chumash to older students and adults while getting to enjoy some beautiful divrei Torah along the way.
The Tanach - The study of the Navi’im and K’suvim is almost completely neglected in most Jewish schools, and that is a tragedy. Narrating the lives of such figures as Joshua, King David, and Queen Esther, the Tanach shows us who our heroes are and what our values should be. There are even lessons to be learned from their sins, which the Tanach neither hides nor whitewashes. God does not demand perfection – not of us, and not of our leaders.
The Mishnah: Pirkei Avos advises that the study of Mishnah should begin at 10 and the study of Talmud at 15, but that’s not the way it’s done today. Yeshivas start their students on Talmud much younger, so the Mishnah does not really get the attention it’s due. Yet Rabbi Wein asserts that anyone who studies it can develop into a scholar. Best of all, you'll become acquainted with the giants who wrote it: Rebbe Akiva, Rebbe Meir, and above all, Rabbi Yehuda Ha Nassi.
The Talmud: More than any other book, the Talmud has preserved us as a people, but because studying it is so difficult, teaching it is a specific art. The “sink or swim” method employed by many yeshivas today has dangerous consequences, but at the same time, because of translations and the Daf HaYomi, the Talmud has never been so accessible to so many. Rabbi Wein assesses the different ways of teaching Talmud and highlighting its history, scope, and insights into human nature.
Jewish History:To many students, history is boring. “Why should we care about the past?” they ask. “It happened already.” While it’s true that dwelling on the past can be depressing and even useless, the study of history is not. Rabbi Wein, the premier voice in Jewish history today, makes a passionate case for why every school must include history in its curriculum. It’s not just that we’re “condemned to relive it.” If we don’t know the facts, we won’t be able to defend the truth when our enemies deliberately distort it.