Behavior and Identity- Applying פסולי עדות to ווידוי on יום כיפור

יום כיפור
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Written by:
Rabbi Yehuda Chanales
Access editable doc with student handouts:

ברכה ראשונה

  1. מספר נוכחות or feeling scale
  2. What’s one thing you heard from the speaker that resonated with you or made you think?
    • Perhaps do this in a אני מתחבר way- one person shares and someone else follows by saying I connect to that… and says what they are going to say
    • Alternatively you can have people share and then “pass the ball” to someone else
  3. What connections can you make between anything the speaker discussed and what you have been learning about in gemara?

לימוד ועבודה פנימית.

Personal application:

Framing: ווידוי, admitting or recognizing our negative behaviors, is a significant part of the davening on יום כיפור. Over the 5 tefillot we say ווידוי ten times! What do you think might be the value of naming and verbalizing our negative behaviors? 

  • Some possible answers: prevents avoidance, creates positive shame/guilt, cleansing process/makes us feel better- “get it off your chest”
  • Idea to highlight- recognizing negative behaviors is first steps but we need to dig deeper to be able to change the behavior, figure out what it’s doing for us..

Ask student to individually reflect on the following questions: (pages will be provided)

1) What behaviors  (choose one or two) do you engage that have negative consequences in your life?

2) How does the behavior have an impact beyond the time you are engaged in it? Describe those negative consequences - financial, emotional/affective, relationships,religious/ spiritual, physical?

3) What do you gain by engaging in the behavior? How might they help you fill a void or something you are lacking in your life? 

4) What other positive activities or behaviors can I engage in to fill that void? 

Once they have completed the individual reflection they should examine the ווידוי of יום כיפור. (English/hebrew copies will be provided) and respond to the following question:

Based on what I’ve learned about myself, which statement in the ווידוי are most important for me to focus on and why?

Chavrusa: If time allows you can pair students and ask them to either share some of what they wrote or reflect on what they learned from the process of this activity.

Group Closure: Bring everyone back together and ask each person to:

  1.  read (in Hebrew or English) the line (up to 2) in the ווידוי that they feel is most important for them to focus on this יום כיפור
  2. If they have one, share one of the positive behaviors they would like to engage in instead of the one they’ve realized is having negative consequences


ברכה אחרונה

  • Place your beracha achrona here
  • You can have one or multiple suggestions

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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