On the one hand, the haggadah describes at great length the wondrous ways in which God smote the Egyptians. On the other hand, we partake in a ritual that symbolically fulfills the verse from Proverbs, “Do not rejoice in the fall of your enemy”. How do we feel when a rival suffers a setback? How “should” we feel?? In this resource, learners will study the midrash that addresses this dilemma (see attachment below), and discuss the challenges that arise in striking a proper balance at the Seder in particular as well as in life experiences in general. Learning activities such as writing a paragraph describing how it felt when an adversary suffered a setback personalize this moral dilemma for every student.

The learners will:

  1. understand how symbolic actions have the capacity to impact one’s values

  2. know how actions such as removing drops of wine from a cup can symbolize ideas and values.

  3. be able to write a reflective paragraph about the concept of “Do not rejoice in the fall of your enemy.”

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

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


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