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Yom Rishon, 21 Tishri 5776

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Torah: Values, Characters, Themes

4th grade

The objectives of this “Torah curriculum” in the Kitah Dalet classroom are: to give students a picture of the beginnings of the Jewish people; to give them an idea of the lifestyle and culture of these people; to introduce biblical heroes, heroines, and adversaries; and to convey the literary and cultural impact that the Torah has made.

We hope to convey to the students that the Jews were, in the beginning, people who had new and unpopular ideas which eventually, to some extent, were accepted by the dominant society. These ideas, however, are constantly being reevaluated and changed as our culture progresses and as the societal values change. Students will learn that “truths” change as society changes.

The class will discuss and debate the values that are being conveyed in the Torah and try to figure out how these values and teachings can be applied to life in our times. Students will be encouraged to look at the Torah as a work of art; we will research how a Torah is produced and by whom. The class may also spend several weeks looking at the other two books in the bible, Prophets and Writings, if there is adequate time. The students will research how the Jewish holidays were celebrated in ancient times.