SAMPLE TEXT:

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”


Materials:

  • Pens for each participant (optional)
  • Printed pages for each participant (see Steps)
  • A few pairs of scissors

 

Steps:

  • Introduce a page of gmara – show the makeup of the page
  • Introduce the concept of PaRDeS
    • Pshat – clear literal reading
    • Remez – clues to other meanings/intents
    • Drash – unwritten stories, moments of extrapolation
    • Sod – secrets
  • Distribute the page of gmara modeled after MLK’s “Dream” speech so that every participant gets a copy.
    • Ask them to underline/circle moments of clear literal intent, moments where clues are being given to other meaning, moments of extrapolation, secrets
    • Put everyone in chevruta (partnered up) so that they can share what they discovered
    • Bring the whole group back together to share insights
  • Distribute blank pages of gmara with ‘sacred texts’ boxed in the middle of the blank page. (see attached appendices)
    • Ask everyone to take the page they got and, by themselves, do the PaRDeS process.
      • Talk them through by saying “everyone underline or circle words/phrases of literal meaning and then notate it in the blank space” and then after a couple of minutes, move on to Remez, and so forth.
  • Ask everyone who shares the same central text to find each other and make a group.
    • If you have lots of people, you can split into multiple groups for the same text. One group should not have more than 5 or 6 people.
    • Ask them to compare their sheets and insights.
  • Give each group a blank sheet with their text in the middle and ask them to create a master sheet that has all the insights gathered from the various sheets in the group.
  • Give every group a pair of scissors and ask them to cut out the central text in the master sheet.
  • Assign every group to make a theater piece (or a sculpture with their bodies, or a painting, etc.) using only the language on the margins of the master sheet as inspiration but not using any of the now absent core sacred text.
  • Have everyone present

 

Debrief:

  • What did you learn about the original text from this exercise?
  • What did you learn about the talmudic process of analyzing sacred text?
  • What makes a text a sacred text?

 

*The In[heir]itance Project is collecting responses/stories. Please feel free to email images of your new pages of gmara to genesis@inheiritance.org. Include the source text in the body of the email.

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