Before you begin reading this unit, please do the following homework. We’ll have a show-and-tell at our meeting.
Strength, Peace & Security Assessment
Find an object around your home that answers each of the following questions for you:
- What is strength for me, where do I get it and how can I get more?
- What is peace for me, where do I get it and how can I get more?
- What is security for for me, where do I get it and how can I get more?
Examples of objects could be pictures, momentos, books, personal documents, etc. This is open to interpretation. Example answers:
Strength is represented by a rock in my yard that reminds of the rocks in my grandmother’s front yard and the strength she taught me.
Peace is represented by the Shabbat candlesticks I bought in Israel and how peaceful I felt being away from the distractions of daily life.
Security is represented by my father’s Army jacket and how safe he made me feel.
I’ll explain why we did this before our discussion time.
Middot: Jewish Values
What are Jewish values? Explore a few here on the Reform Judaism website.
Do any of these surprise you? Why?
Jewish Ethical Concepts
You can explore a few more Jewish ethical concepts from this reprint of the Encyclopedia of Judaism.
Encyclopedia Judaica – This is a LONG and VERY OLD writing on Jewish ethics and values by the early 20th century Reform rabbis. Perhaps find a topic that you like and read from it.
Virtues-Based Jewish Ethics
Mussar is like the Crossfit of Jewish ethics. It takes personal virtues and connects them to ethical behavior. You can begin to understand this concept here.
Three Rabbis Walk In A…Jewish Education Conference
Three rabbis discuss the concept of Jewish obligation. This is more about religious practice as defined as “Jewish”, but this may stimulate some ideas for you.
What are our responsibilities as Jewish people? This diverse panel considers this question
Ask the Rabbis
Moment Magazine does a column called Ask the Rabbis, which gets us into some of the Jewish ethical issues and highlights diversity of ideas.