Monday, July 02, 2012

Students Respond To "The Book of Exodus: A Search for Identity,''

I am always working on getting students - and myself - to think and feel rather than just memorize. Perhaps one day I'll post more about an assignment that went well this year. Students were asked to read what I think is a wonderful article about the fact that Moshe was adopted. They were given guided questions to answer as they thought read and considered the article. The last part of the assignment was to write whether they agreed with the author of the essay or not and to explain their position. Here are two responses from my 11T class.

1 - “ I agree with this approach because not only does it make logical sense, but I as an individual who learns Torah everyday in school appreciate that the author – Caroline Peyser – is even able to give such depth to her theory. There are many unanswered questions and cryptic ideals found in Torah and whenever they can be explained in a logical/and in this case psychological sense it adds somewhat of a relief to a person such as I, who is at the point in life where I am questioning the Torah.”

2 - “Personally, I disagree with Peyser’s explanation and analysis of Moshe. I think the entire essay from start to finish was drawn out so that her point could be presented, but not adequately proven. Sure, the idea is unique and well thought out but not very plausible. Moshe was the single greatest Jew that has ever lived. We praise him and try to emulate him each and every day of our lives. For us to say that Moshe had the same psychological and emotional feelings at four years old as a typical four year old in the twenty first century, I think, frankly, is wrong. The essay was interesting to read in the respect that I wanted to see what else Peyser would pull out of that hat of hers; however all in all the essay was a repetitious article solely aimed at proving her not-so-probable point.


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