Saturday, July 28, 2007

Text and Context: First PowerPoint for Art, History and Sefer Shmot

I've recently finished the first PowerPoint presentation for my integration program. The presentation is on Sefer Shmot, and it establishes the awesomeness of the Egyptian empire by showing various artworks, including the Palette of Narmer, the Gizeh Pyramids, the treasures of Tutankhamen and Ramses II's Temple at Abu Simbel. The presentation takes the students through the 3000-year history of the ancient Egyptians, showing them ancient Egypt's culture of the dead, mythological system and various advanced and not-so-advanced beliefs and practices that the ancient Egyptians had. The presentation also addresses who was the possible pharaoh of the Exodus story -- Ramses II is a strong candidate -- and ultimately stresses the fact that no earthly ruler is as powerful as God shows Himself to be in Shmot. Students learn that despite the impressive civilization that the ancient Egyptians established and the often terrifying amount of power the pharaoh wielded, the Torah makes clear that the Egyptians and the Israelites end up knowing that God is in charge.

The presentation leads nicely into the next one, which I'm currently working on and which is about how the Makot succinctly undermine all that is important to the Egyptians' religious, political and economic lives.

I've already learned so much this summer -- including how to remove cataracts the ancient Egyptian way -- with the brain of a tortoise and a powerful incantation spoken by the local ancient Egyptian priest -- and I look forward to learning even more.

Tikvah Wiener
The Frisch School

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