BIBLICAL PATTERNS AND PARADIGMS IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Using Tanakh as a tool for creating conflict resolution curricula for schools
In recent years the increasing tension in schools has fueled
interest in conflict resolution as a growing movement in the
educational community. Conflict resolution curricula are
becoming an important tool for teachers. These curricula,
often taught in informal interactive workshop type of
atmospheres, help empower both educators and students alike with
concrete problem solving skills.
This ATID project attempts to explore, and cull from Torah,
educational information about conflict resolution that can be
used as tools in the classroom. The project highlights three
dimensions of conflict.
Division and Choice. This section explores a model of
conflict with three progressive phases. It focuses on Cain
and Abel, Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Esau. Additionally, it
incorporates King Solomonís famous edict of dividing a baby
as well as an example of division from rabbinic sources
regarding two people who claim ownership of a talit and
the court decrees the talit should be divided.
This section focuses on preparation toward confrontation.
Jacobís struggle with the angel prior to his
confrontation with Esau is explored as a paradigm for
self scrutiny and transformation. This is an essential
step towards effective confrontation.
Aaron the high priest, a famous paradigm of peacemaking
in Jewish tradition, is analyzed as an educational role
The goal of the project is to re-perceive and expand the
definition of conflict resolution curricula. The project
will sow the seeds for expanding and developing these
curricula from strictly secular sources to integrating
contemporary conflict resolution technique with traditional
Torah studies. This paper could serve as jumping points or
outlines, for educators interested in teaching conflict
resolution through the prism of Torah. The study of conflict
resolution encompasses many fields. Course and training
materials typically draw from psychology, law, communication,
sociology, and anthropology. The author believes that a
powerful resource and tool for conflict resolution curriculum
development is found in Torah itself.
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