Kedoshim: A Personal Take on Kedusha

פרשת קדושים
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Written by:
SAR Faculty
Access editable doc with student handouts:
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ברכה ראשונה

Ask each person to say their name. When they share their name, the rest of the group claps for them.

מספר נוכחות:

On a scale of 1-10 how present are you? How much are you here right now? 1=you may see me but my mind is in a totally different place, 10= I am completely with you, energized and fully locked in to whatever is happening here. 

You can try: Now, get up and sit in the seat of someone whose number was lower than yours. Get up and sit in the seat of someone whose number was higher than yours. 

סיפור שלי להיום:

In one or two sentences, what is your story for today? What’s going on for you today? 

This can be done going around one by one or by breaking people into pairs.

After סיפור שלי להיום:

You can try: Does anyone have any follow up questions for anyone about their story?

Take 2-3 questions and let the person answer. 

Or try: Get up and sit in the seat of someone’s story you related to. Ask one or two students to share why they related to this person. 

פרנסות:

    1. The parnas chooses one question from the questions below to talk about:
      • Describe a time during the week that you most enjoy
      • What is a show that you watch, enjoy watching
      • What type of music do you listen to? What do you like about it?
      • Tell a funny story from your childhood.
      • What is your earliest memory?
      • Something that people don’t know about me is…
      • What’s your full name and why are you called that?
      • Who in your family are you most similar to? Different from?
      • The last place you would find me is…
      • If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?
      • Who is a role model of yours? Someone you would like to be like?
      • My favorite time of the week is..
      • What’s your favorite chag / Jewish holiday? Why?
      • What does a typical Shabbat look like for you? A special one?
      • What’s a Torah idea/Torah teacher that you found particularly
        meaningful? Why?
      • Tell about a time when you felt a strong connection to Torah/the Jewish community.
      • What’s a part of tefillah that is meaningful to you and why?
      • Who is a Jewish role model for you? Why?
      • What is your favorite mitzvah and why?
    2. Share a dilemmaThe parnas shares a dilemma he/she has been faced with recently. It can be school-related, or not. 
    3. ReflectionAfter sharing of the dilemma - do two rounds of quick response (one sentence each from each person)
      1. What I heard X say is…
      2. What resonated with me is…

If parnas takes the whole time - that is fine! 

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

You can do this either in chavruta or with the whole group. Since its a bit of text, I’d suggest xeroxing or projecting it for students so they can see it. 

This week’s parsha is parshat kedoshim. At the beginning of the parsha, Hashem commands Bnei Yisrael קדושים תהיו - Be Holy. This seems like a very general commandment. What exactly does it mean to be holy? The Ramban has a particular take on this question:

קדושים תהיו

…The Torah has admonished us against immorality and forbidden foods, but permitted sexual intercourse between man and his wife, and the eating of [certain] meat and wine. If so, a man of desire could consider this to be a permission to be passionately addicted to sexual intercourse with his wife or many wives, and be among winebibbers, among gluttonous eaters of flesh, and speak freely all profanities, since this prohibition has not been [expressly] mentioned in the Torah, and thus he will become a sordid person within the permissible realm of the Torah! Therefore, after having listed the matters which He prohibited altogether, Scripture followed them up by a general command that we practice moderation even in matters which are permitted…

…Likewise he should guard his mouth and tongue from being defiled by excessive food and by lewd talk, similar to what Scripture states, and every mouth speaketh wantonness, and he should purify  himself in this respect until he reaches the degree known as [complete] “self-restraint,” as the Rabbis said concerning Rabbi Chiya, that never in his life did he engage in unnecessary talk.

And such is the way of the Torah, that after it lists certain specific prohibitions, it includes them all in a general precept. Thus after warning with detailed laws regarding all business dealings between people, such as not to steal or rob or to wrong one another, and other similar prohibitions, He said in general, And thou shalt do that which is right and good, thus including under a positive commandment the duty of doing that which is right and of agreeing to a compromise as well as all requirements to act “beyond” the line of justice for the sake of pleasing one’s fellowman…

…והענין כי התורה הזהירה בעריות ובמאכלים האסורים והתירה הביאה איש באשתו ואכילת הבשר והיין א"כ ימצא בעל התאוה מקום להיות שטוף בזמת אשתו או נשיו הרבות ולהיות בסובאי יין בזוללי בשר למו וידבר כרצונו בכל הנבלות שלא הוזכר איסור זה בתורה והנה יהיה נבל ברשות התורה לפיכך בא הכתוב אחרי שפרט האיסורים שאסר אותם לגמרי וצוה בדבר כללי שנהיה פרושים מן המותרות 

…וגם ישמור פיו ולשונו מהתגאל ברבוי האכילה הגסה ומן הדבור הנמאס כענין שהזכיר הכתוב (ישעיהו ט טז) וכל פה דובר נבלה ויקדש עצמו בזה עד שיגיע לפרישות כמה שאמרו על רבי חייא שלא שח שיחה בטלה מימיו 

…וזה דרך התורה לפרוט ולכלול בכיוצא בזה כי אחרי אזהרת פרטי הדינין בכל משא ומתן שבין בני אדם לא תגנוב ולא תגזול ולא תונו ושאר האזהרות אמר בכלל ועשית הישר והטוב (דברים ו יח) שיכניס בעשה היושר וההשויה וכל לפנים משורת הדין לרצון חבריו…

  • How does the Ramban understand the commandment of קדושים תהיו?
  • What does נבל ברשות התורה mean?
  • Can you think of a time that you technically followed the letter of the law, but didn’t actually do the right thing?

Can you think of a time when you, or a family member, or a friend, did something לפנים משורת הדין?

ברכה אחרונה

Choose any one of the following:

  • What is your מספר נוכחות now?
  • What is one thing you learned about someone else today?
  • What is one thing you learned about yourself today?

Notes to the teacher

  • This is the place to make suggestions to the teacher of different ways they may choose to facilitate this limmud
  • Or particular grade levels or sensitivities to take into account
  • Or anything else you think is important for the teacher to know

עבודת המורה

  • This is the place to raise some questions that make sure the teacher tests the limmud on themselves or others
  • Could be a general question like - which part of the limmud resonated most for you? Which question was the hardest for you to answer?
  • Or questions anticipating students’ responses- What do you think students will say for X or Y? To what extent are you open to being surprised?
Download with student handouts:
Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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