Start a Conversation About The Weekly Torah Portion With the New "Values and Ethics"

This week's double Torah portion describes the original scapegoat. The high priest confesses the sins of Israel while placing his hands on the goat, which is then sent out into the desert as part of the atonement process. Today we use the term "scapegoating" to refer to an individual or group who blames another person or group for their own flaws.

In the new Values and Ethics: Torah Topics for Today, each of the 54 Torah portions is quoted and discussed thoughtfully and then paired with two or three specific values to be learned from the text, such as compassion, courage, gratitude, and patience. 

For example, this week's story of the scapegoat episode in Acharei Mot is paired with a discussion about leaving room for lightening of our load through forgiveness.

Questions under a section titled "Making Connections" include: 

- Do you ever blame others for your own mistakes? Why or why not?

- Do others ever blame you for their mistakes? How does that feel?

- How has scapegoating hurt people and societies? 

Each parasha also has simple hands-on activities to enhance the learning. Values & Ethics can be used in a number of ways. Bar and bat mitzvah students can find deeper understanding of their Torah portion. Educators can search through the index to find a certain value they’d like to discuss through a Jewish perspective. Use it in the classroom or at home to encourage discussion.

Click on the images to download this week's double parashot of Acharei Mot and K'doshim.


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