Category Archives: Classroom Experiences

ומי יודע אם לעת כזאת חסרת המלכות? Just Desertions – Pinchas and Overriding Faith

Learning Parshat Pinchas today with my Sixth Graders, a pair of insights by the students impressed me for their ingenuity and for their surprisingly adroit sensitivity to human nature and the human experience. Parshat Pinchas relates the reward that Hashem … Continue reading

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כמעט נטיו רגלי: Ye of Little Faith – Patriarchal Edition: Parshat Toldot

Is it possible that Avraham failed a test given to him by Hashem? That question has been on my mind and those of my Ninth Grade students, as we have explored Rashi’s selective use of a challenging Midrash. We’re up … Continue reading

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Kalev’s Prayer: Maintaining Integrity of Self in a World of Easy Associations

Proudly presenting another bit of Sixth Grade Torah … Shelach. The Spies. Rashi uses a textual ambiguity to derive that Kalev arrives in Chevron alone and prays at Me’arat HaMachpeila for Divine assistance from עצת מרגלים – the advice of … Continue reading

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Shaul and the Roots of the Contemporary Leadership Vacuum

More 6th Grade Torah, from this past Friday, with an add-on related to the situation in Israel: Shmuel Aleph, Perek 15: Shaul’s latest blunder comes in his second war with Amalek. Despite Hashem’s explicit command to the contrary (15:3), Shaul … Continue reading

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Fruit For Thought, A Tree for Naught

When is a tree more than just a tree – and less? A careful examination of some of the early pesukim in Bereishit with my Ninth Grade Parshanut class yielded some tremendous fruit for thought, along with an eye-opening answer to … Continue reading

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A Thought at 30

10:00 pm. I stand at a fork in the road: my “Hebrew birthday,” as the kids call it, began two hours ago; my “English birthday” begins in two hours. A fine moment for reflection, as much for the poignancy of … Continue reading

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Audio and Sources – Shemini Atzeret – Hashkafa and Halacha

Below is audio (MP3) and sources (PDF) for a Shiur I gave at the high school today on Shemini Atzeret. The first half is a Hashkafic (Philosophical) perspective on what Shemini Atzeret is really all about; the second, more Halachic … Continue reading

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Audio and Sources – Erev Yom Kippur – Halacha and Hashkafa

Below is audio (MP3) and text (PDF) for a Shiur on Halachot of Erev Yom Kippur. The Shiur ends with a new Hashkafic perspective related to Rambam’s statement that one should say Viduy before his last meal lest he choke … Continue reading

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Audio and Sources – Rosh Hashana – Halacha

Here is audio for a Shiur given at school on Halachot of Rosh Hashana and Erev Rosh Hashana. Also attached – a PDF of the sources so you can follow along with the audio Shiur. Enjoy! Audio – Halachot of … Continue reading

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Seeing is Believing. What About Hearing?

Here’s one you may not have thought of before (at least I hadn’t): Why do we make a Beracha in the morning over being able to see (“Pokeiach Ivrim”), but not over being able to hear? (Or smell?) “Mashmiah Charashim” … Continue reading

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