Consider different sides of a moral issue
By the end of the lesson, the children will have read and discussed a moral dilemma, looking at different interpretations and prepared and argued two different sides of an argument
- Read and Discuss “Which Tzedakah Comes First” – Read through the problem and ask children to come up with a range of suggestions as to how to solve them. List these on the board. Discuss with children the order in which to give tzedakah (refer to Maimonides’ Ladder if appropriate) and justify reasons.
- Share different interpretations from the Torah and other commentaries – Share the interpretations one by one, discussing each implication and their relevance to the problem.
- Read and Discuss “Priceless at Twice the Price” – Read through the problem and ask the children’s opinion on the matter.
- Option 1: Debate – Explain that we will be holding a debate about the problem and what is fair. Split the class into two groups, one group will be arguing that Zoe’s mother should keep the vase, and the other group will be arguing that Debbie’s mother should have the vase back. Children to spend time in their groups preparing their arguments (teacher to prompt and assist) before presenting their argument to the other group.Resolving the argument – Teacher to display the first of three interpretations from Maimonides, The Law of Acquisition. Children should then review and adapt their argument in favour of their stance. Repeat with the second and third interpretation and then allow children to conclude the debate with an answer. (Aim to keep it as close to a court case as possible to keep it interesting and fun!).
- Option 2: Paper Debate – Using the Mothers’ Template, children to write in the thought bubble what it is both women would be thinking and why. Try to justify reasons and then write a Jewish interpretation at the bottom.
- Question – Ask children “what is fair?” and what does it mean? Note different answers on the board and discuss.