Love Your Neighbor: All the Rest is Commentary

3, 4, 5

This lesson emphasizes the importance of respecting others and their opinions. Activities explore aspects of friendship and compromise.

PrintOne 50-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • explain the phrase "Love your neighbor as yourself."

copies of handouts:

  • Text from the Leviticus 19:18 and Commentary
  • Interview Worksheet 
Home Connection 

Youth look for situations at home that could be helped by compromising.

  • Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat
  • Jewish Virtual Library 
  • The Chumash: The Stone Edition, Mesorah Publications Ltd. ISBN: 0899060145


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Share what Kurt Vonnegut said, "Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow."

    Start a discussion about how we aren't great at everything we do, but practice is how we learn what we are good at and what our gift to the world will be. Listen to the young people discuss, stepping back to honor their thoughts without commentary or validation. 

  2. Read the text from Leviticus 19:16 and the sources commenting on the importance of this verse. Ask the young people to explain the statement of Rabbi Hillel. Discuss: What does it mean to treat others as you wish to be treated and why is that so important.

  3. In partners, youth interview one another on how they would like to be treated. The Interview handout is an optional guide. Make it clear that one person asks and listens while the other talks for three minutes. Then they switch roles for three minutes. Then they each get one minute to reflect again. 

  4. Bring the group back together and discuss their observations and what surprised them about the interview. Brainstorm tips for how to treat strangers, friends, and people you work on projects with. 

  5. Define compromise as "each person giving a little and each person getting a little." Discuss what they think are the benefits and challenges of compromise.

    In the same pairs, have the youth illustrate and label an example of compromising with someone at home, on the school playground, or in a assignment. It should demonstrate how one should properly treat a friend. The learners begin by each telling their ideas about their illustration if they were on their own, and then they combine their ideas, each one honoring an idea of the other. 

  6. After the illustrations are complete, share them with the whole group and have pairs reflect on what was good about compromising and what was difficult about compromising.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss the importance of respect for others.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.8 Describe classroom behaviors that help the students learn.