The 6 Pillars of Judaism
Torah and Other Texts
A ) Study Torah and other texts for psychological insight and moral growth. Torah and imagination, the breadth of interpretation.
B ) Torah Portions – how they came about, how to study a Torah portion.
C ) Main Biblical genres – Narrative, Law, Wisdom, Poetry
D ) Main narratives of the Torah
E ) Geography of the Bible
F ) Main texts of Rabbinic literature – Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, with example for study and interpretation.
ii) To be healthy (physically, mentally, morally and spiritually)
v) Rational – Think Well
vi) Insightful (the main aspect of wisdom) – into oneself, others, situations and the human condition
vii) Empathetic and Loving
viii) (Many more duties)
A ) Our basic duties as human beings
B ) Understanding the idea of God and relationship with God
C ) The meaning of the soul.
D ) Virtue (Mussar and Middot) – moral character and qualities.
E ) Resistance to virtue and character –
the Yetzer Ha-Ra
F ) The path to Insight (Derekh Ha’hit’bonenut)
A ) Synagogue traditions and practice
B ) Tefilah –
i) Prayer and the prayer-book and other liturgy (e.g. the Passover Haggadah)
ii) Introspective practices
iii) Understanding structure of the Siddur, and the main services that the students will participate in.
(1) Friday night Shabbat Table
(2) Friday night services
(3) Shabbat morning services
(5) Other important liturgy – High Holy Days, the weekday services.
iv) Many levels of meaning of essential prayers
v) Integrated with Hebrew language – see below
C ) Shabbat and Holidays – traditions, customs
D ) Outline of Kashrut
E ) Other customs and ceremonies – Mourning practices (including life after death issues)
Jewish community, the Jewish people, &
the State of Israel
A ) Jewish identity – debate over “who is a Jew?”. Evolution of the definition. Our focus, whoever a Jew is, what ought that person do?
B ) Covenant and Jewish peoplehood – the idea of “brit.”
C) Connection with the State of Israel
ii) Basic history and historical characters in pre-state and Israeli history
iii) Current events in Israel
iv) Palestine, Palestinian refugees,
vi) Arab states
A ) Bible
B ) Exile, Second Temple
C ) The Diaspora
D ) Modern Jewish history, including the various denominations. Judaism and secularism, atheism.
A ) Focus on Siddur and Biblical reading
B ) Reading skills
C ) Basic comprehension and grammar,