Monday, December 31, 2007

Text and Context: New Presentations

The new integration programs for the following months have been scheduled, so I'm now in the process of preparing the next Chumash and Nach presentations. The Chumash presentaiton begins this week and will pick up where I left off, with B'nai Yisrael having left Mitzrayim. The next presentation will focus on the transition from slavery to freedom, focusing on the differences between ancient law codes and ours and the significant innovations that the Torah makes. The connection with the last presentation will be that since we were slaves, we are well aware of the suffering of the underpriviliged and the problems that ensue from favoring an upper class. The Torah's extraordinary concern for the sanctity of human life and its groundbreaking democratic spirit are born from the awareness of the suffering of the miserable.

The Nach presentation will not be until March, because it will be about Purim. Last year, I developed a program called Parties, Palaces and Princesses: The Art of the Purim Story, which focused on the Achaemenid Dynasty and the Persian Empire. I gave the presentation to my son's fifth grade class in Yavneh, and they enjoyed it. I'll be expanding and deepening the program for the upperclassmen at Frisch. Incidentally, I gave the exact same presentation for Chumash to the eleventh and twelfth graders at Frisch as I did to the fifth grade this year at Yavneh (who are also learning Shmot). I just made the concepts simpler and didn't go into as much detail. The elementary school kids really understood what was going on and had many interesting observations and insights.

If anyone is interested in my presentations, email me at

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