Shabbat Rest for Everyone


What does it mean “to rest” and why is a day of rest so crucial to the well being of humankind?  Utilizing the Torah sources of the Friday night and Shabbat day Kiddush, this resource explores the concepts of “work” and “rest” and the unique contribution which Judaism has made to human history in establishing the imperative of a day of rest for humans and animals alike.  In addition to text study, and discussion questions focusing on the concept of equality, suggested activities include the viewing of film clips depicting menial labor and a simulation of a debate between labor and management regarding workers’ request for a day off.

The learner will:

  1. Understand what a day of rest means in Judaism and why it is so crucial to human welfare

  2. Know the dual sources in the Torah which are the basis for the Jewish concept of rest and equality and will know that the concept of Shabbat has transformed much of the world’s relationship to labor

  3. Be able to explain how and why Shabbat is a moral revolution in world history

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

Student handouts, digital devices for viewing suggested film clips

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