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Contemporary Approaches to Shabbat

Abstract

Is it possible to create a new non-halachic model for Shabbat observance?  This resource explores how Jews find alternative ways of observing Shabbat.  Through analysis and critical evaluation of five contemporary Jewish approaches to Shabbat, the learner is introduced to a different “take” on the dual Torah commandments of “shamor” and “zachor” and how alternative interpretations create new ways of experiencing Shabbat.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how observing Shabbat is an opportunity to enrich, enhance, and sanctify one’s day to day life

  2. Know how Jews of different denominations interpret the commandments of Shabbat

  3. Be able to reflect on alternative understandings of Shabbat and to formulate a personal perspective on the relevance of these approaches to the learner’s own life.

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

Student handouts

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