The 6 Pillars of Judaism

Comprehensive Outline

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.

Inner Life

i)  Safe

ii) To be healthy (physically, mentally, morally and spiritually)

iii)   Moral

iv)   Respectful

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)

Jewish Tradition

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

               (4)   Havdalah

               (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

     and ceremonies


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


      i)  Zionism


       ii) Basic history and historical characters in pre-state and Israeli history


      iii)   Current events in Israel


      iv)   Palestine, Palestinian refugees,


       v) Terrorism,


       vi)   Arab states

Jewish History

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,