The leader’s concern must be to focus on what is best for their community, rather than on their own best interests.

A leader’s important quality is their ability to tie their own fate to the fate of the larger community, and to act on behalf of others, at the expense of paying a personal price. The Torah relates three cases where Moses chose to act on behalf of others in situations of difficulty and distress. In the last of these cases, Moses continued to intervene even though he was aware of the danger involved and the price he would likely have to pay for his actions.

Story
Relato
Histoire
1
| Unit
| Unidad
| Unité
3

Moses – A Leader Rising from Adversity and Crisis

Exodus 2:11-22

Unit Synopsis - Main Values In this unit we will learn about Moses’s first appearances as a leader. We will learn about three cases that the Torah relates in which Moses came to the aid of people who were in difficult situations. It appears that Moses’ sense of justice and morality influenced him to act even on behalf of those who are not of his own people. Based on the verses that describe Moses’ sensitivity and identification with the plight of the Israelites (and towards others in general), we will discuss the idea that a leader is obligated to pursue the public’s best interests, even at the expense of paying a personal price. This unit emphasizes the value of caring for another person’s distress, and taking action to help another person.

El éxodo de Egipto. Mapa con explicaciones

Unit Knowledge Goals

Objetivos de conocimiento en la enseñanza de la unidad

Objectifs pédagogiques de cette unité

We will learn about the expanding circles in which Moses operates, and how, in those settings, he saves the oppressed from the hand of their oppressor.

Pédagogie

Pedagogy

Pedagogía

Teaching Practices
Pratiques pédagogiques
Aconsejamos enseñar esta unidad a través de la siguiente práctica pedagógica
Check out
SEL
Aprendizaje social y emocional
ASE

Responsible decision making: identifying problems, analyzing possible solutions, attempting to solve problems while practicing reflective skills and social and ethical responsibilities.

Background for Teaching the Unit

Contexto de la unidad didáctica

Résumé de l’unité et valeurs centrales

In the first part of Chapter 2, Moses was saved by Pharaoh's daughter, parallel with the actions of his mother and sister. In the second part of the chapter we read about three cases in which Moses came to the aid and protection of other people. In the first case (verses 11-12) Moses saves a Hebrew man being beaten by an Egyptian man. Moses kills the Egyptian man. In the second case (verses 13-15), Moses tries to separate between two fighting Israelites. He turns to “the evil one” (i.e., the stronger one, who we can assume is the one who started the fight), and says: "Why did you strike your fellow?" From the man's response, Moses learns that his killing the Egyptian man is known, and he escapes from Pharaoh to the land of Midian. It is there, near the well, that the third incident occurs (verses 16-17). Moses steps forward and saves the daughters of a Midian priest (who are not of his people), from the hands of shepherds (who are also not of his people). Moses’s choice to leave the palace, observe the suffering of his people, and protect those who need help and protection – even when they are not members of his people – simply because of his concern for the weak and his belief in justice, teaches us about the proper qualities of a leader.

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"וַיְהִי בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וַיִּגְדַּל מֹשֶׁה וַיֵּצֵא אֶל-אֶחָיו וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם"

“Some time after that, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his kinsfolk and witnessed their labors"

Activité d’introduction
Actividad de apertura
Opening Activity

Who do I regard as a leader?

Possibility A:

The students will prepare a job description for a leader (What qualities are important for a leader to have? What experience?)

Possibility B:

We will ask the students to think of a leader who they know (a national, local, or family leader), and to write down what, from their perspectives, makes them a leader. What qualities and/or activities make them a leader?

This activity can be done with “sticky notes” that each student fills out and posts on the board, or on a Padlet/WhatsApp online sharing board as preparation before the lesson. Want Ad. Students can also work in pairs or groups.

At the end of the lesson, we will return to this activity and ask the students which of the leadership qualities they have / would like to have.

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Étude de l’histoire
Aprendiendo la historia
Learning the Story
Verses
Versets
Versículos
-

Why leave the palace?

1:3:EN:2:1

We begin by reading verse 11:

יא וַיְהִי בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וַיִּגְדַּל מֹשֶׁה וַיֵּצֵא אֶל-אֶחָיו וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם וַיַּרְא אִישׁ מִצְרִי מַכֶּה אִישׁ-עִבְרִי מֵאֶחָיו.  

11 “Some time after that, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his kinsfolk and witnessed their labors. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his kinsmen.”

We will ask: Why didn't Moses stay in the magnificent palace where he lived comfortably? What do you think motivated him to leave a place of safety and security, and take risks? 

Three stories about Moses

Independent student work

We will now study the three cases in which Moses came to the aid of other people. We will continue reading verses 11-22 and complete the table in class. In filling out the table, the students will be required to describe the character Moses confronted in each case, the location of the event, the injustice recognized by Moses, and his reaction to it. We will also ask the students to express their own opinions about each situation.

The table appears in The three cases that Moses faced. This is intended as independent work for students, and can also be used to be shown in class. 

Open Discussion

After completing the table, we will hold an open discussion in class, where the following questions will be presented:

●        What common thread do you see in Moses’s response to each of these different situations?

●        What can we learn about Moses’s qualities and character from his behavior? 

One final question to be asked:

Why do you think the Torah spends time and space telling us about these three cases, rather than just telling a single story? (Keep in mind that Moses is in Midian for a long time and much must have taken place, yet the Torah tells us nothing about that time.)

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A short study session focused on Nechama Leibovitz’ analysis of these stories
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Verses
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-

1:3:EN:2:2

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Think about Moses’s character as framed by the three stories
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Résumé
Resumen
Summary

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Summary for the teacher
Profundización para el docente
Approfondissement pour l’enseignant
Summary for teacher S1 U3 EN
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Summary u3 s1 en

Points for classroom discussion

●        In which of the three stories is Moses's characteristic of pursuing justice most strongly expressed?

●        What is the most significant / central feature that you see in Moses?

●        What is the main challenge faced by Moses?

●        What is it about Moses’s actions that shows that he is well-suited to serve as the leader who will bring the Israelites out of Egypt?

Summary activity for the students

●        We will ask the students to return to the job advertisement they wrote in the opening activity.

●        We will ask: Does Moses meet the criteria you wrote?

●        What elements would you like to add to the ad after studying the chapter? You might want to include words from the verses that we studied.

●        Why are these qualities important to Moses as a leader who will save and lead the people?

We will finish the class with check-out! (Link to Sparks)

Each student will be asked to say something that they learned in class that relates to the student's own personal life.

Which of the leadership qualities do they have / would like to have?

How can these qualities be cultivated or adopted?

Further Possibilities -

Following our study of Moses’s involvement in “rescue operations,” we can deepen the idea of personal responsibility towards others, making use of one of the following options:

We can ask the students to tell a story about a person who made the effort to help someone else. The following questions will be presented: What made them do this? What do these efforts show about such a person?

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Summary for the teacher
Profundización para el docente
Approfondissement pour l’enseignant
Analysis of the Israeli law: "You shall not stand upon your neighbor's blood"
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