Before Working at the Food Warehouse

 

KAM Isaiah Israel 6th & 7th Grade Mini-Retreat

 

Proverbs 9:7-9

Translation Original
To correct a scoffer, or rebuke a wicked person for their blemish, is to call down abuse on oneself. Do not rebuke a scoffer, for they will hate you; reprove a wise person, and they will love you. Instruct a wise person, and they will grow wiser; teach a righteous person, and they will gain in learning. [JPS translation. Edited for gender neutrality]
ז) יֹסֵר לֵץ לֹקֵחַ לוֹ קָלוֹן וּמוֹכִיחַ לְרָשָׁע מוּמוֹ: (ח) אַל תּוֹכַח לֵץ פֶּן יִשְׂנָאֶךָּ הוֹכַח לְחָכָם וְיֶאֱהָבֶךָּ: (ט) תֵּן לְחָכָם וְיֶחְכַּם עוֹד הוֹדַע לְצַדִּיק וְיוֹסֶף לֶקַח:

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. What are the two reasons provided for not correcting a scoffer or rebuking a wicked person? Do you think this is true?
2. Why will a wise person love you if you reprove them? Why does a wise person have an opposite reaction from the scoffer?
3. What makes a person wicked? What makes someone wise? How are these differences evident in their reactions?


Deuteronomy 10:18-19

Translation Original
[God] upholds the cause of the orphan and the widow, and befriends the stranger, providing him/her with food and clothing. -- You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. [JPS translation edited for gender-neutrality]

עֹשֶׂה מִשְׁפַּט יָתוֹם וְאַלְמָנָה וְאֹהֵב גֵּר לָתֶת לוֹ לֶחֶם וְשִׂמְלָה: וַאֲהַבְתֶּם אֶת הַגֵּר כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. In what ways does this text suggest that we mimic God?
2. What is God's responsibility to us and what is our responsibility to others? What are the different sources of these responsibilities?


Psalms 145:16

Translation Original
You give it [food] open-handedly, feeding every creature to its heart's content. [JPS translation] פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן:

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. According to this text, who is responsible to feed humanity?
2. How can you reconcile this text with the reality that many people in the world are hungry?


Proverbs 14:31

Translation Original
One who oppresses the poor, blasphemes their Maker. One who is gracious to the needy honors God. [JPS translation . Edited for gender neutrality] עֹשֵׁק דָּל חֵרֵף עֹשֵׂהוּ וּמְכַבְּדוֹ חֹנֵן אֶבְיוֹן:

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. How does oppressing the poor blaspheme God, diminishing God's name and reputation?
2. Why is God honored by those who are gracious to the needy?
3. What is the relationship between our actions and God? Why is it important?


Midrash Tanhuma, Mishpatim 2

Translation Original
If a person of learning participates in public affairs and serves as judge or arbiter, he gives stability to the land... But if he sits in his home and says to himself, “What have the affairs of society to do with me?... Why should I trouble myself with the people’s voices of protest? Let my soul dwell in peace!”—if he does this, he overthrows the world. [translation by Hazon] מַלְכָּהּ שֶׁל תּוֹרָה, בְּמִשְׁפָּט שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֵׂה, מַעֲמִיד אֶת הָאָרֶץ... אִם מֵשִׂים אָדָם עַצְמוֹ כִּתְרוּמָה הַזּוּ שְׁמוּשְׁלֶכֵת בְּזָוִיוֹת הַבָּיִת וְאוֹמֵר: מָה לִי בְּטוֹרַח הַצִּבּוּר ?מָה לִי בְּדִינֵיהֶם? מָה לִי לִשְׁמוֹעַ קוֹלָם? שָׁלוֹם עָלֶיךָ נַפְשִׁי! הֲרֵי זֶה מַחֲרִיב אֶת הָעוֹלָם.

Suggested Discussion Questions

  1. When do you sit at home when you might stand up and make a difference?
  2. This text speaks of a person who has the wisdom and the power of being a leader, how might this text apply to everyone?

Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001) p.19.

Translation Original
  "Above all, the prophets reminded us of the moral state of a people: Few are guilty, but all are responsible."

Suggested Discussion Questions

What are the implications of this text- what does this text teach us? Can we ever be passive (inactive)? 


Elie Wiesel [on Indifference], US News & World Report (27 October 1986).

Translation Original
  The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And, the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference. Because of indifference one dies before one actually dies.

Suggested Discussion Questions

Do you agree with Wiesel?  How might you apply this statement to your life and/or the world around you?