- Each video in this series makes the claim that it is the most important Jewish priority. Based on the video and your own thoughts, make a compelling case for why learning & education should be the most important priority within the Jewish world.
- Former Knesset Member, Dr. Ruth Calderon, founded the first beit midrash (study hall) in which secular and religious women and men studied and taught Torah together, helping change the way Jewish learning was perceived in the non-religious space. In her first speech as a member of Knesset, she gave a Talmud lesson to the entire plenum which included religious and secular Jews as well as non-Jewish Arabs. Watch the speech here and answer the following question: What do you think is the best way to make Jewish learning attractive to all Jews, regardless of religious affiliation?
- In an essay, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz said, “The main point is to ensure that every grandchild of every Jew remains a Jew.” What point do you think Rabbi Steinsaltz is trying to make here vis-a-vis Jewish education? Do you agree or disagree?
- In the Talmud (Bava Metzia 84a:15-18), read the gemara from which we learn what constitutes a great havruta (study pair). How does this story articulate what makes a great havruta? Also, why do you think havruta learning has been so significant for the Jewish world when it comes to education?
- The Talmud (Shabbat 127a) says:
“These are the things for which you now enjoy the benefit of (in this world), and the principle remains for you (in the world to come), namely: honoring parents, doing acts of lovingkindness, going to pray night and day, welcoming guests, visiting the sick, celebrating with a bride, burying the dead, studying prayer, peacemaking between people including husband and wife; and the study of Torah is “k’neged kulam” (equal to all of them).”
The phrase “k’neged kulam” could be interpreted as the study of Torah being equal to all of the righteous deeds listed such as welcoming guests, burying the dead and making peace between people combined. Alternatively, others could interpret it as “k’neged kulam” meaning that the study of Torah leads to these good deeds and should always be in mind when performing them. How do you interpret “k’neged kulam”? Is the study of Torah equal to all of these good deeds combined or do they go hand in hand?