About the Course
One Jew, Two Opinions: Rabbinic Theology through the Lens of Abraham Joshua Heschel
is an adaptation for a High School audience of the argument made by AbrahamJoshua Heschel in his book
, and of the issues discussed in the classtaught about the book by Rabbi and Professor Gordon Tucker at the Jewish TheologicalSeminary in the Fall of 2005. The goal of the course is similar to the goal we can assumeHeschel himself set concerning his book: to challenge readers and participants in Jewishlife to reappraise their assumptions pertaining to the foundations of rabbinic Judaism, andto rediscover the dissonance within.The materials included in this packet draw on the sources cited by Heschel as hemade his arguments concerning competing rabbinic worldviews, and at times the sourcesare also drawn from Prof. Tucker’s translation of Heschel, Heavenly Torah (cited later asHT), since Heschel’s argument is often made best in his own words.
The teacher begins the class with a quick review of the topic for the day,distributes the worksheets (included after every lesson overview), and goes over thecontents very briefly. Students are broken into
, groups of two being best, andgiven ten to fifteen minutes to review the sheets. Each
is assigned responsibilityfor presenting one text on the sheet in reference to the questions framing the lesson and inrelation to the other readings on the sheet. Multiple groups may be assigned the sametext. After their group study time is over, the class reconvenes, and groups are asked to present their readings of the texts. The teacher’s role in the ensuing discussion is tocontinually reconnect the discussion to the competing theologies that Heschel identifies,
Rabbinic Theology as taught by Rabbi Gordon Tucker, by Ariel Beery.