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Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Topic: Nazir (Bamidbar, 6:1-21) Grade: 8 Boys

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum Topic: Nazir (Bamidbar, 6:1-21) Grade: 8 Boys Overall Goals o Students

Overall

 

Goals

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Students will know and retain the overall themes selected from Sefer Bamidbar.

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Students will be able to read

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and translate a portion of the material covered along with basic terms in each section. Students will understand

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how Rashi serves as a companion and support to aid the learner expand his knowledge of the pessukim. Students will be able to link

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the content that was learned to the specific words of the possuk. Students will find relevance

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from the content learned to their own personal life. Student will see how the basic possuk is a springboard to rich discussions that are dealt with in the various meforshim.

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Big

 

Ideas

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A nazir is someone who accepts upon himself to abstain from

in the

wine products, cutting hair and coming in contact with dead

Unit

bodies for at least 30 days.

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Nezirus is often undertaken as a reaction to regain control of

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one’s temptations. It is debatable if abstinence is an effective tool against the

o

Yetzer Horah – and Nezirus may, for some, be a sin. There is depth and significance to each detail of the halachos concerning a Nazir: from the choice of wine, dead bodies and hair, to the specific korbanos chosen for him to bring.

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Lesso

   

n 1

 

Learning Target:

 

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Students will familiarize themselves with the basic halachos of Nazir.

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(knowledge) Students will understand why the Torah decided to place the Halachos

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of Nazir specifically after Hilchos Sotah. (comprehension) Students will recognize the value in being proactive in molding one’s character as a reaction to positive or negative experiences. (values

 

Lesson Hook:

 

o

Students are shown a picture of a Buddhist monk in meditation, a man

eating a burger with zest and a jogger exercising. Students are prompted to write on an index card their opinion of which of the individuals shown are acting holy. Students reflect and share their thoughts on the concept of holiness.

Learning Process:

 

o

Students are asked to take out a blank paper and turn it sideways.

As

the class progresses through the pessukim, each major detail is added

to a mind-map/timeline of Hilchos Nazir. The teacher adds to his own timeline on the board as a template for students who wish to copy:

please see http://popplet.com/app/#/2834694 for a completed template.

o

As the teacher reads through pessukim 1-13, students are asked to

underline words they think are “main words” essential to the topic Nazir.

of

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Students are allotted 10 minutes to silently read an article by Rabbi Frand (retrieved and modified from:

http://www.torah.org/learning/ravfrand/5770/naso.html) about a connection between Nazir and Sota and the lesson for us to learn. Students are then to answer the questions independently on the handout. The questions are structured in a way that does not require much writing – rather “marking up” the page. See below, in the Resources section for the handout.

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The mind-map and handout are collected, to be marked and returned for future reference.

   

Lesso

n 2

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

 

Learning Target:

o

Students will familiarize themselves with the key terms in the first

possuk about Nazir. (knowledge)

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Students will learn to question the Torah’s choices of words and learn

about using Mefarshim to address such questions. (comprehension

o

Students will explore the rationale for becoming a Nazir and why this

can be a virtue or a sin – depending on the person and the outcome of

the Nezirus. Students will appreciate that different people might

require different strategies for success in life. (values)

 

Lesson Hook:

o

Students are prompted to share websites that they commonly refer to.

They are asked to identify where the “Troubleshooting” section or

“FAQ” section would be found on the website. This is repeated a

couple of times. It is noted that the Troubleshooting section is usually

at the end or back-page of websites and manuals. This highlights that

assumption that things “should work fine”, but if it doesn’t, there are

solutions to be found.

o

The timeline of Hilchos Nazir (from Lesson 1,

http://popplet.com/app/#/2834694) is displayed on the board.

Students are asked where the “troubleshooting” stage is to be found

in Hilchos Nazir. Students are asked to ponder the question “Why

would the Torah put the section of what to do if the Nazir messes up

right in the middle of its narrative of how to become a Nazir and not at

the end?”. It seems that the Torah considers this a likely outcome of

becoming a Nazir – why would that be?

Learning Process:

o

Students are given a source sheet (

http://www.sefaria.org/sheets/19614 , see Resources for a screenshot

of the semi-completed version) that focuses on the first possuk

regarding a Nazir. Students are asked to refer back to their own

Chumash and share the “essential words” that they chose in Lesson 1.

Each essential word (ריזהל ריזנ ,אילפי) is then examined at length.

Questions such as: why would the Torah choose the words ריזהל and

אילפי instead of the more common words לידבהל or שירפהל are addressed.

It is emphasized that it is a good practice to try and analyze exact

usage of words in the Torah, since fundamental ideas can be

communicated this way by the Torah, subtly.

o

A collection of Mefarshim (Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Kli Yakar, Sforno, Rabeinu

Bachya) are introduced one by one. It is emphasized that Mefarshim

are used to explore questions in text and underlying ideas. Students

write down the main idea contained in these Mefarshim on the left

side of the source sheet. A semi-completed version is given to

students who have difficulty doing this themselves. Through learning

these Mefarshim it is revealed that the Torah’s choice of words point to

the purpose of becoming a Nazir – to rule over one’s temptation by

way of abstinence.

o

Students are given a second article by Rabbi Frand to read (retrieved

and modified from:

explores the Torah’s perception of abstinence and holiness. Students

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Lesso

   

n 3

   

Learning Target:

 

o

Students will learn about the process of completing one’s nezirus and

which korbanos are brought. (knowledge)

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Students will explore the rationale behind why these specific 3

korbanos are brought. (comprehension)

o

Students will appreciate that molding one’s character is a journey that

requires different emotions, elements and perspectives in order to

be

successful. (values)

 

Lesson Hook:

 

o

The famous old-lady-young-lady optical illusion is shown (See below in

Resources). Students are asked to reflect on what lesson can be

learned from the illusion.

o

Students are asked to think about the different perspectives on

whether Nezirus is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and how perspectives can be

subjective.

 

Learning Process:

 

o

Students follow along in the Chumash and in their timeline Mind Map

(from Lesson 1) while the teacher reads and explains pessukim 13-21:

outlining the completion of Nezirus. Students complete the timeline

Mind Map for the Unit.

o

Students are asked to reflect on the following quandary: Why would

the Torah prescribe three drastically different korbanos for the Nazir?

Chatas for a sin, Shlamim to be thankful, and Olah for total sacrifice to

Hashem. Students are asked to write down and share their personal

view on how the Nezirus incorporates an element of sin, sacrifice and

thanksgiving all in one.

o

Students play a Smartboard game (created by Eli Perles, retrieved

Nazir-SMART-Board) to match the ingredients of the Korbanos to the

correct korban (See below in Resources for a screenshot).

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Students complete the Unit by voicing their Exit Ticket answer to the

question of – is becoming a Nazir effective in mastering one’s

temptations?

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Students hand in their worksheets and material to be marked and

returned to review for an upcoming test.

   

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Reflecti

 

on

I think that the style of learning Chumash- through using articles,

Mefarshim and relevant hooks is drastically different than how 8 th

Grade students are used to learning Chumash. To compare this to the

“read and translate” style of learning Chumash is like comparing two

different subjects entirely. I believe that the goal of getting students

to see Chumash in a deeper, more profound light is achieved by

highlighting the nuances of the Torah’s textual hints and the

introduction to Mefarshim as a way to open up the discussion.

The use of a Mind Map that runs through the course of the Unit can

help students visualize where they are headed throughout the Unit

and they can anticipate and enjoy completing their work – detail by

detail. By giving students this “anchor-type” activity, there is a

compelling reason to remain engaged throughout every detail – lest

they miss something in their Mind Map!

By highlighting that the details of any Torah law has significance to

be analyzed and studied, students are drawn into the conversation to

share their own thoughts -and suddenly realize that they have what

to say! It is through this that students at the cusp of high school can

begin to question and analyze every Torah law and start seeing the

Torah (and life!) in “3D” instead of “2D” spit-back of facts.

Resources:

Nazir article #1

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum  Sefaria source sheet
Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum  Sefaria source sheet

Sefaria source sheet

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum  Nazir article #2

Nazir article #2

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum  Optical Illusion  Korbanos Game

Optical Illusion

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum  Optical Illusion  Korbanos Game

Korbanos Game

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum

Teaching Chumash | Uri Kestenbaum