Previous Curricula

2015-2016

The 2015-2016 curriculum explored a widely studied chapter of Masekhet (Tractate) Bava Kama, known as HaChovel (החובל). This chapter in the Talmud focuses on assessing restitution for harm caused to one person by another person. Our students spent the year becoming familiar with the rabbinic dialogue that established these tort laws, and the five basic categories of compensation: injury, pain, healing, rest, and shame. Questions we considered include: How did the rabbis think about violence, crime, and community? How did they relate to authority — the authority of the Torah, the authority of their teachers and peers, and the authority of regular working people? How did the rabbis view personhood and our legal responsibilities to one another? What do we learn about our current society’s conception of restitution and the value of life, as well as our own, by engaging with these texts?

%d bloggers like this: