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Summary

The Yearly Cycle in the Eyes of Chazal (Hebrew)

Chaviva Speter

This paper implements one of the suggestions raised in Chaviva Speter's paper "The combination of Midrashei Chazal in/with the teaching of Oral Law (Torah Sheb'al Peh) in the secular schools", Atid, 5760.

In her previous paper, the problems of teaching Oral Law were discussed and one of the suggested solutions was writing a curriculum in the area of aggada and the world of Chazal.

This paper presents a plan for the teaching of the world of Chazal in in connections with the Yearly Cycle.

The arguments for the choice of this topic are presented, as well as an overall multi-year plan for the teaching of the topic of the holidays on the high school level.

The examination of the world of Chazal is suggested as a second stage after students have studied the holidays as presented in the Bible. through learning with an understanding of its historical period.

This project includes a study of different topics from the spheres of Chazal's aggada and halacha. There is great importance for the learner in the acquaintance of a wide variety of books and literary genres as well as a diversified world of ideas.

Through learning a number of topics during the year, hopefully, the goal will be reached of exposing the student to the rich and variegated spiritual world as well as to many varieties of literature, tools that can aid him in the study of other topics through self-study.

The paper concentrates on the attitude of Chazal to repentance, a topic suitable to the months of Ellul Tishrei. The presentation of the topic of repentance (teshuva) is done by focusing on Chazal's attitude to Biblical f characters who sinned and on an analysis of Chazal's approach to the sinners.

In the first chapter, different points of view are presented about evaluating Cain's repentance as it is seen in the Midrashim in Breishit Rabbah.

A parallel between the repentance of Cain to that of the men of Nineveh is drawn. From the comparison of the two, opposing attitudes surface which either interpret the characters positively or negatively. The possible historical and polemical backgrounds which influenced Chazal's interpretations of the repentance of the characters are discussed.

The second chapter deals with the attitude towards Esau and three possible directions are presented: Esau is not capable of repentance, Esau is the intermediary for the people of Israel's repentance, and finally Esau converted (to Judaism).

The attitude towards conversion and to "God fearers" that existed among the Jewish people during the time of the second Temple and immediately thereafter is dealt with briefly in the appendix.

The third chapter addresses the halachic topics related to evil-doers and repentance in the eyes of Chazal.

 

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