Talmud and Ethics Lesson 4 Game Plan
Underneath the Law

Lesson 4 Game Plan - Underneath the Law 

I. Introduction, with re-cap

II. Read Portion 1. What is the meaning of this statement of law? Does it make sense?

III. Read Portion 2a. Why do you think the Gemara in response to this Mishnah language refers to God as the Merciful One?

IV. Read Portion 2b. Based on the text and your own thinking, what do you think each of these terms stands for - thorns, stacks, and standing corn?

V. I'll describe the debate in Portion 3. Why does Judah think there should be liability for concealed property that is damaged? Do you agree?

VI. Internal Review

A. Bases on our discussion of these principles of law, what are the ethical takeaways?

B. Can you see concerns that the rabbis might have that lie beneath the surface? What does "spreading fire" mean more deeply? What does it mean to have liability for such fire?

V. Read Portion 4. This is confusing. Can you see the order of what is happening?

Let's get to an understanding of that, which raises a series of questions:

A. What is the fire?

B. What causes it?

C. Who are the "righteous" and why and how do they get hurt first?

D. Who or what are the thorns?

E. What can burn next and last?

F. What are the consequences of all this, and how does this tale relate back to the concern in the legal language of the Mishnah?

VI. I'll read from Portions 5 and 6. What is the basic lesson we learn about the principles of justice in these verses of the Talmud?

VII. We'll close with my teaching a lesson from Portions 7-9, and wonder how we got to such a fantastic place from the initial discussion of basic matters of law and ethics. 

Talmud and Ethics Lesson 4 Game Plan      Underneath the Law

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