Justice and Ethics in the Talmud  
Lesson 2 Game Plan

Game Plan for Lesson 2 - Charity 

I. Re-cap and Introduction 

II. Question for discussion: when you think of the word, charity, what comes to mind?

III. Looking at the last lines of the Mishnah language, we wonder: why is the text interested when a person becomes a citizen of the city? 

IV. Read portion 1. 

Questions: What are the later sages trying to do with this language at the outset of the Gemara? Do you see the rhyme and reason for the order in which duties are assumed? 

V. Read portion 2. 

Question: Why is helping redeem the captive the great act of charity?

VI. Read portion 3 

Question: Why the concern about having such an organization with people playing certain roles in administering the charity?

VII. Read portion 4.

Question: Looking at Daniel 12:3, how is this a tribute both to the collectors of charity as well as teachers? 

VIII. Read portion 5.

Question: Do we investigate applicants before we provide assistance, and, if so, on what basis do we make decisions?

IX. Read portion 6.

Question: What sense do we now have about the importance of charity, and why might we particularly value the one who causes or organizes charitable deeds to be done?

X. Read portion 7 (note the text continues on page 11).

Question: What makes giving in secret such special value?

XI. Read portion 8. 

Question: How could the giver of words be more deserving of blessing than the one who gives money? 

XII. Read portion 10. 

Question: how could refusing to assist the poor be akin to committing idolatry? What's the consequence of averting one's eyes from a person seeking help? 

XIII. Read portion 12. 

Question: What do you make of this short statement? 

Conclusion - why and how do you think the later sages built this thinking about charity on the elements they found (and we studied) in the Mishnah? 

Justice and Ethics in the Talmud     Lesson 2 Game Plan

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