Why Should We Fix the World? (Private-Religious)

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

The purpose of this lesson is to identify the essence of an imperfect world and the rationale for why the world needs improvement.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne - Fifty Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of Judaic sources (i.e. components of the Aleinu and Mishna Ethics of the Fathers 2: 21, daily prayer and tannaitic material, etc.)
  • understand and articulate the concepts of tikkun olam and malchut shakai.
Materials 
  • Copies of “Aleinu” in Hebrew and English
  • Copies of "Mishna": Ethics of the Fathers 2: 21 in Hebrew and English
  • Attachment One: The Worksheet

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:Begin the class by engaging the students in a discussion about what a “perfect world” would look like. Have them reach consensus agreement on as many of the suggested ideas as time permits and write these agreed upon ideas on the display board. Next to each of the agreed upon ideas, have the learners share some suggestions of things that could be done to help make each of these identified ideas more of a reality in the world.

  2. Hand out a copy of Aleinu in English (or Hebrew – if the learners are adept in their use of Hebrew) and divide the class into small groups.

  3. Have each group talk about the themes in AleinuTeacher Note: Make sure the class focuses on G-d’s creation of the world and the imperfections remaining in it that need fixing – i.e. tikkun olam).

  4. Hand out copy of Mishna: Ethics of our Fathers 2:21 in English (or Hebrew – if the learners are adept in their use of Hebrew) dealing with human activitytelling the groups to talk about the Mishna and compare and synthesize it with the Aleinu (i.e. one deals with divine improvement and one with human action striving for the same goal).

  5. Have each group write down themes that they identify from Aleinu.

  6. Pose this discussion question–What does Aleinu identify as imperfect with the world? (The Aleinu provides for spiritual involvement in worldly improvement the result of digression among the peoples of the world requiring G-d to eradicate foreign deities so that there is one single true G-d)

  7. Have each group write down themes that they identify from Mishna: Ethics of the Fathers 2:21lo alecha hamilacha ligmor.

  8. Pose this discussion question- (The Mishna provides for human involvement in worldly improvement.) Why must the world be changed? Why didn’t G-d create perfection? (i.e. G-d wanted the creation of the world to involve partnership between the focus of creation, humanity and Himself, the Creator.

  9. Distributing a copy of Attachment One: The Worksheet to each group. This worksheet contains two questions that each group needs to respond to. Once completed, allow time for each group to articulate their responses to the questions.

  10. Conclude this lesson by involving the total group in reflecting on how tikkun olam and the b’malchut shakkai both respond to what having a kingdom of G-d has to go with fixing the world.

Assessment 

Learner assessment for this lesson will be based on learner involvement in the group discussions as well as the assigned worksheet.

Handouts

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.6 Describe how the civil society sector is often the origin of new ideas, projects and innovation and social renewal.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Discuss the role of family life in shaping a democratic society.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify how subgroups and families in society demonstrate giving, volunteering, and civic involvement.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.11 Discuss the concept of corporate citizenship and corporate responsibility for the common good.