Argumentation and debate are the lifeblood of Judaism; in fact, our ancestors never shied from arguing with God or other sources of authority when they felt justice and truth demanded it. Judaism's Great Debates aims to reawaken that spirit in the lives of young Jews today. At the heart of the book are ten classic debates from Jewish history, such as Nathan courageously confronting King David over the king's immorality, and Spinoza challenging Jewish communal leaders in Amsterdam about the boundaries of Jewish belief. This book teaches students to analyze the value conflict at the core of each historic debate, and more importantly, it prepares them to apply Jewish values to similar conflicts in our society.
Abraham & God
Moses & Korach
The Five Daughters & the Twelve Tribes
David & Nathan
Ben Zakkai & the Zealots
Hillel & Shammai
The Vilna Gaon & the Ba'al Shem Tov
Spinoza & the Amsterdam Rabbis
Geiger, Hirsch & Frankel
Herzl & Wise
Download a free companion PDF - Debating Guide
Includes questions for reflection, discussion, and formal argumentation plus a brief outline explaining how to run a formal debate in the classroom.