A Manual For Teaching Biblical History

A Manual For Teaching Biblical History

by Eugene Kohn
     
 

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Purpose of Manual. In recent years some attention has been given to the improvement of Jewish educational method so far as instruction in the Hebrew language is concerned, but the teaching of Biblical history, although it holds an important place in the curricula of our religious schools, has received relatively little attention from our educators, at least from those…  See more details below

Overview

Purpose of Manual. In recent years some attention has been given to the improvement of Jewish educational method so far as instruction in the Hebrew language is concerned, but the teaching of Biblical history, although it holds an important place in the curricula of our religious schools, has received relatively little attention from our educators, at least from those of orthodox and conservative tendencies. From the reform point of view some recent publications, though exhibiting the faults which all early efforts in any direction necessarily show, do mark a decided pedagogic advance on the older unmethodical way in which the subject was taught. But from the point of view of traditional Judaism they are inadequate, however helpful some of their pedagogic suggestions may be, since they are guided by a different ideal. This manual attempts to assist the teacher of Biblical history from the point of view of Traditional Judaism. For whoever considers from this point of view the way in which Biblical history is taught must come to the conclusion that not only are we not realizing to the full the educational values which the study of Biblical history affords, but we are often giving our children very false notions of the Bible characters and of the lessons which the story of their lives is intended to teach Israel. To develop a good course of study in Biblical history cannot be the work of one man nor can it be done at one time. It is hoped however that the suggestions contained[14] in this book may assist the earnest teacher to make his instruction more fruitful of good results for Judaism.
Three factors determining method of instruction. Every discussion of pedagogic method as applied to a particular branch of study must take three factors into consideration: the aim of instruction, the subject to be taught, and the child—his mode of thought, interests and capacity.
The Aim. The first thing that we must bear in mind is that the aim of all Jewish education must be a Jewish life; that the aim of each branch of Jewish study must be formulated not primarily in terms of information to be conveyed, but of Jewish habits of thought and action to be cultivated. It follows that Biblical history as taught by a Jew who believes in the authority of the Torah and the mitzvoth over our lives must be very different from the same subject as taught by one to whom Judaism is merely a number of moral maxims and the dogma of the unity. This book, attempting as it does to treat the problem from the point of view of traditional Judaism, considers that the main object of instruction in Biblical history is to inspire the child with an appreciation of the religious ideals that have moulded Israel's life in the past, with an understanding of how these same ideals express themselves in the religious institutions of the present day, and with the desire to further the historic aims of Israel's existence through identification with the institutional life of Israel, that is through the observance of the mitzvoth, affiliation with the synagogue, etc. Particularly must we create in the child the sense of his personal identity with his people, for this is the lever by which the events[15] of the Biblical narrative can move the Jew to active interest in Judaism. He must feel that God's choice of Israel means that God has chosen him to live a certain life, the life of the Torah, and that if he fails to live this life, he sins against God and betrays his people. He should feel proud of the heroes of his nation and inspired with a sense of the obligations that his noble descent imposes. He must be made to discover the spiritual kinship that links him with the rest of Israel in the past, present and future. Unless we can accomplish this we have not succeeded in our teaching of Biblical history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940148301387
Publisher:
Bronson Tweed Publishing
Publication date:
01/27/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
170 KB

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