The State of California’s Unofficial Jewish Ethnic Studies Program: Session I: A Ten Commandments’ Project

ethnic groups may have origin stories. the jewish people’ origin story is written in an ancient text called the torah. the torah is also known as the five books of moses.

the torah tells of a man, abraham or abram, who is consider judaism’s patriarch. his wife, sarah or sara, is the matriarch. abraham was born in the city of ur in a land now known as iraq. one of abraham’s major contributions was his promotion of the religious belief of there being one god. this belief is called monotheism.

chapter 12 of the torah, also called “lech lecha” tells the story as follows: “and the lord [god] said to abram, “go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that i will show you. and i will make you into a great nation, and i will bless you, and i will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing. and i will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you i will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.”

this text provides important concepts concerning judaism. a lord or god, a land, nations, and the concept of blessing/curse. these four elements are central to judaism.

these concepts will be further defined and explained with the torah’s text. they will be explained further subsequent program sessions.


the jewish people people rely upon an ancient text, the torah, as the basis for their origin.

questions: are there books or documents you rely upon to define who you are? what are they?

the jewish people believe that there is land which was given to them as their home?

questions: do you have an area, land or country, which you consider your home? why?

jewish people believe that they are a nation?

questions: are you a part of a nation? what is a nation? what would make a nation great?

jewish people believe in the concepts of blessings and curses.

question: what are blessings and curses? what do you think what was meant by it? if nations have good intentions towards others, what can result from it?

be well!!

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note: if you are a teacher, please consider using this material as part of a lesson plan. if you have any suggestions to improve, please let me know.

Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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