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Monday, April 12, 2010


The two Torah portions read this week seem to be about a disease called 'leprosy'.  It is a disease which we understand today is caused by a virus and which can be controlled with medication.
But in the time of the Torah it was not understood the same way.  It seemed to be a punishment from God. According to Maimonides, a great rabbi and philosopher (and doctor, by the way) who lived in the 12th century, this disease (tzara'at in Hebrew) was caused by gossip - talking about other people.

  • What if gossiping made someone break out in a rash?
  • In your opinion, is there a difference between gossiping and bullying?  Explain your answer.
  • According to Jewish thinking, three people are harmed by gossip - the one who is telling, the one who is listening, and the one being talked about.  Do you agree that all the people involved are hurt? Why?
  • What happens when people post mean things about other people on the internet?
  • What do you think you SHOULD do to help stop bullies who use words to hurt others?
  • What do you think you CAN do?
  • What WILL you do?
Be sure to share your answers by commenting on this blog

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