Seeking Positive Influcences, Avoiding the Negative

פרשת נח
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Written by:
Rabbi Rick Schindelheim
Access editable doc with student handouts:

ברכה ראשונה

Bracha Rishonah: “Compared to _______________ I am _____________________”

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

בראשית פרק ו (פרשת נח)

ט אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ--נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה, בְּדֹרֹתָיו:  אֶת-הָאֱלֹקים, הִתְהַלֶּךְ-נֹחַ.
רש"י

בדורותיו: יש מרבותינו דורשים אותו לשבח: כל שכן שאלו היה בדור צדיקים היה צדיק יותר.

ויש שדורשים אותו לגנאי: לפי דורו היה צדיק, ואלו היה בדורו של אברהם לא היה נחשב לכלום.

  1. According to the first approach (“שבח”), what is the פסוק telling us about the way a person’s environment can:
    1. Impact them for good?
    2. What about for bad? 
    3. What role does the individual play in the way the environment impacts him/her?
  2. The second approach (“לגנאי”) doesn’t focus on influence of environment, rather on comparison. 
    1. What are the dangers of measuring our self-worth by comparing ourselves to others who we see as “below” us? (What are the consequences of setting low standards)
    2. What are the dangers of measuring our self-worth by comparing ourselves to those who we see as “better than us”?
  3.   When thinking about yourself and your social environment: 
    1. When are you/can you be “דורש לשבח” by avoiding negative influences and seeking out positive influences? 
    2. When are you “דורש לגנאי” by comparing yourself to others in a way that sets low standards for yourself or in a way that makes you feel like you are כלום?

ברכה אחרונה

(Answer 1 or both)
  1. What is one thing you can do that will help you be more of a “דורש לשבח”?
  2. What is one thing you can do that will help you avoid being a “דורש לגנאי”?

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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