And please use this parasha to connect yourself and your students to a current issue.
You and your students have heard about the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college freshman whose private behavior in his dorm room was broadcast on the internet by his roommate. What connection could this possible have to the Torah portion? The story of Noach after the flood seems to have something to say about this. If you teach middle school or high school kids, this is a real opportunity to share Jewish wisdom about privacy and create a connection between what they are learning in the Jewish educational setting with the dilemmas they face in their lives.
People have choices about their behavior. Jewish wisdom can be one of the guidelines that helps us make good choices.
Questions you might want to ask:
- What were the choices faced by Noach's sons? How does this relate to the story of Tyler Clementi?
- How important is privacy? Is everyone entitled to privacy? What about public figures? Politicians? Sports personalities? Entertainment stars?
- What role do decisions about the right to privacy play in bullying?
- How does the world we live in affect the choices we make?
- How does Jewish thinking affect the choices we make?
- Text: Genesis 9:18-27
- Jewish thinking about privacy
Remember - the purpose of these ideas is to connect ourselves to Jewish wisdom as it impacts the choices we make in our lives. I hope this helps.