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Judaism's Great Debates

ISBN: 978-0-87441-852-1
SKU: 852
Grade level: 6 - 7
Price: $13.95 In stock
Average: 3.1
(7 votes)

Argumentation and debate are the lifeblood of Judaism; in fact, our ancestors never shied from arguing with God or other sources of authority when they felt justice and truth demanded it. Judaism's Great Debates aims to reawaken that spirit in the lives of young Jews today.

At the heart of the book are ten classic debates from Jewish history, such as Nathan courageously confronting King David over the king's immorality, and Spinoza challenging Jewish communal leaders in Amsterdam about the boundaries of Jewish belief. This book teaches students to analyze the value conflict at the core of each historic debate, and more importantly, it prepares them to apply Jewish values to similar conflicts in our society.


  1. Abraham & God
  2. Moses & Korach
  3. The Five Daughters & the Twelve Tribes
  4. David & Nathan
  5. Ben Zakkai & the Zealots
  6. Hillel & Shammai
  7. The Vilna Gaon & the Ba'al Shem Tov
  8. Spinoza & the Amsterdam Rabbis
  9. Geiger, Hirsch & Frankel
  10. Herzl & Wise

Download a free companion PDF - Debating Guide

Includes questions for reflection, discussion, and formal argumentation plus a brief outline explaining how to run a formal debate in the classroom.

Bob Westle, JEA 2014 Review

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