Kindness (Chessed) in the Book of Ruth


How can literature serve as a vehicle for social change? How do acts of kindness between individuals impact society as a whole? In this lesson, learners will study a passage from the book of Ruth (traditionally read on the holiday of Shavuot), which records two different acts of kindness, as a springboard to explore these questions. (See the background for the teacher section for additional illustrations of acts of kindness in the rest of the megillah.) Creative learning experiences, such as a “pay it forward” cards activity (see attachment below) provides students with a hands-on opportunity to promote and encourage acts of kindness in the classroom. (See further study section for more information.)

Lesson Attachments​

The learner will:

  1. Understand how the Book of Ruth illustrates essential Jewish beliefs and values.

  2. know the specific acts of kindness displayed in the Book of Ruth 

  3. be able to create and carry out a kindness project as a group

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

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

A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

Student handout, computer, projector

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