You and Me and God Make Three! (Private-Religious)

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

Our tradition of caring and sharing for one another has its roots in the creation of humanity b’tzelem elohim, (in the Divine image). That concept is explained in concrete terms by Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) and helps form an ethical imperative that sanctifies our everyday behavior. This lesson enables the learners to develop an understanding of tolerance that is based in the universal concept that all of humanity shares a Divine origin.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne - Fifty Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • explain the creation of humanity being b’tzelem elohim, (in the Divine image).
  • paraphrase Maimonides’ commentary on loving one’s neighbor, describing the implications of being created in the Divine image
  • cite examples of how their family and community acts on the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself as defined by Maimonides.
Materials 
  • Two large display sheets of paper
  • Markers
  • Paper and pencils
  • Attachment One:You and Me and G-d Make Three!…Cause and Because. One copy for each group of two learners.
  • Attachment Two: You and Me and G-d Make Three!…Cause and Effect. One copy for each group of two learners.
  • Attachment Three:You and Me and G-d Make Three!…What We Have to Do. One copy for each group of two learners andone additionalcopy for each learner to be use as a homework assignment (See School/Home Connection)
  • A variety of synagogue bulletins, school newsletters
Home Connection 

Learners will “interview” their families using You and Me and G-d Make Three!… What We Have to Do (Attachment Three), record their family responses, and return this sheet to class at the assigned time.

Instructions

Print
  1. Prepare and display two large sheets of paper. Place the heading “What is unique about each person?” on one of the sheets; and the heading “What do all people have in common?” on the other sheet. Assign the learners to groups of two and ask each group to discuss the questions posed under each heading and create their own lists of responses. In turn, have each group share with the class their responses while you record them on the larger sheets of paper under the appropriate heading.Teacher Note: Draw attention to repeated responses, but avoid recording duplicate responses.

     

     

  2. Lead the learners in a discussion summarizing the two lists, concluding the discussion by explaining to the learners that the place everyone really lives is where these two lists intersect; where individuals, each created in G-d’s image, encounter one another.

  3. Distribute a copy of Attachment One:You and Me and G-d Make Three!…Cause and Because to each group reminding them that the foundational text that speaks to how we are created is found in Genesis 1:26.

  4. Askeach group to carefully read the information found on this sheet and to thoughtfully respond in writing to each of the questions posed there.

  5. Take a few moments to have two or three groups share their written responses.Teacher Note: Note that everyone shares a common origin in the Divine image. What that means is open to individual understanding, within the limits of Jewish belief about G-d. What is mandated, in general terms, is due to our understanding of Divine Creation and an adherence to behavioral standards in all of our interpersonal relations.

  6. Distribute a copy of Attachment Two: You and Me and G-d Make Three!… Cause and Effect to each group reminding them that the foundational text that speaks to how we are to treat one another is found in Lev. 19:18.

  7. Askeach group to carefully read the information found on this sheet and to thoughtfully respond in writing to each of the questions posed there.

  8. Take a few moments to have two or three groups share their written responses.Teacher Note: Note that the practical application of "Love" is explained by the Rambam, who deduced that the commandment meant that what we want for ourselves is what we should want for others. How successful we are in observing this mitzvah (commandment) can be seen in our actions as individuals and as groups.

  9. Distribute a copy of Attachment Three: You and Me and G-d Make Three!… What We Have to Do Ask each group to carefully read the information found on this sheet and to thoughtfully respond in writing to each of the questions posed there.Teacher Note: The completion of this sheet will require the learners to do a personal as well as a communal inventory to cite evidence of how we act in this world because of our belief in the Divine origin of humanity. Such "evidence" could be found in synagogue bulletins, school newsletters and records of personal and family activism.

  10. Take a few moments to have two or three groups share their written responses.

  11. Conclude this lesson with a whole group discussion citing and recording on the display board as many one-or two word examples of what it means to Love thy neighbor as thy self as the learners can provide in the designated time.Teacher Note: Record these responses in an area that will permit them to remain posted for a few days and encourage the learners to add other one-two word examples of Love thy neighbor as thy self as they think of them.

  12. Distribute an additional copy of Attachment Three: You and Me and G-d Make Three!… What We Have to Doto each learner andtell them that their homework assignment is to “interview” their families and record their family responses to the questions found on this sheet.

Assessment 

Learner involvement in whole and small group discussions and the depth of understanding evident in their responses and group sharing will form the basis of learner evaluation in this lesson.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify how families contribute to the socialization of children.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss the function of family traditions and role modeling in teaching about sharing and giving.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.