Lesson I - Theory
This Lesson covers the philosphy behind
In Judaism, practice is more important than philosophy.
As such there is no definiate reason for the pactice of
This lesson tries to explain some of the more main stream reasons. The
opening logic taken from the Dresner text. This lesson is aimed at someone
not well versed in Jewish thought.
My belief is that philosophy is best taught socratically. As such, this class
is loosely structured as a series of questions, and the expected answers.
The questions are in bold and the answer is indented and in normal print
underneath. Instructions or hints to the teacher are in italics. As in
any socratic situation, make sure the questions are dispersed across the
students. As, in any socratic situation beware of digression. Decide
Judiciously which digressions to allow and which ones not to allow.
All the students should have a
humash with the following verses marked :
At certain times, one of these will be read. It is best to have a
student read it.
|Book||chapter:verse||Page in Hertz
- Why do we keep kosher?
- Go around the table and ask each student this question. Try to start with the least knowledgable about Judaism first and end with the student most knowledgable (we don't want the question answered early).
Now read :
And reask the question
- Why do we keep kosher?
- To be Holy
- What does it mean to be holy?
- Don't expect a proper answer. Explain that sometimes it helps to go back to the original Hebrew and retranslate.
- What the word for 'holy' in Hebrew?
- What does 'Kodesh' really mean in English?
- Separate - Don't accept 'holy'.
- What are we trying to separate?
- Expect people to say ourselves. These next questions lead together.
- Just ourselves?
- When we say Kiddish are just separating ourselves?
- No us and the wine.
- What are we separating ourselves and our food from?
- The mundane
- Ever heard the term 'Tikun Olam'?
- They may or may not.
- What does it mean?
- Healing the Earth
- What does healing the earth mean?
- How does this apply to making something holy?
- In other words, Judaism says by actively interacting with the
world through the mitzvot
we heal the world and make both us and
the objects we handle holy?
- How to the mitzvot help make holiness?
- How does Classic Christianity see the relation between G-D, man
- How does Classic Paganism see the relation between G-D, man and
- How does Judaism see the relation between G-D, man and nature?
- So how do we moderate eating?
- How else?
- What is G-d's plan for the functioning of the garden?
- What is man's position in the plan?
- What is man's moral standing that allows G-d to appoint him to this
- What is man given to eat and how does this tie to his position in
- How does this differ from the garden?
- What does this say about our eating in the Messianic era?
- Is our position to the animals dominion or dread?
- What man's Ideal diet?
- Is the eating of meat a compromise?
- How does the relationship of man to G-d effects what he's allowed
- How does the revelation of law relate to the relationship to G-d?
- Can we bring this together?
- So how does kashrut relate being holy?
-> Lesson 1
Last updated on Aug 1, 1999 at 10:01 PM
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copyright 1999 - Steven Ross Weintraub