Mahloket Matters: How to Disagree Constructively

Can the study of contradictory interpretations of Biblical stories empower us to engage more constructively in ideological and political conflicts today?

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Posted July 19, 2018.

The Beit Midrash Way – A five part educational-workshop series for use in your community

Can the study of contradictory interpretations of Biblical stories empower us to engage more constructively in ideological and political conflicts today?

Many of the most heated ideological and political conflicts in the world today arise from the contradictory ways various groups interpret their reality and texts. From religious and historical texts to the texts of social and mainstream media, conflicting groups find themselves in ever deepening narrative divides, with little to no ability to understand and engage in meaningful and constructive disagreement.

At the core of the traditional beit midrash (house of study) is the in-depth havruta (study partners) of diverse and often contradictory interpretations of primary Jewish texts, commonly known as a mahloket (disagreement). The hypothesis of The Beit Midrash Way is that a methodology of studying texts such as Biblical conflict narratives, together with conflicting historical precedents, can positively impact people’s ability to understand, interpret and engage more constructively in conflicting political and ideological issues today.

Suitable for your synagogue, federation, campus, school and communal study groups; Join us in classic rigorous and relevant text study that seeks to empower your community to understand and engage in political and ideological disagreements more constructively.

STRUCTURE & COST:

  • Unit 1
    • Introduction to The Beit Midrash Way
    • When do we agree to meet with our political adversaries, and when do we refuse?
  • Unit 2 – When should we trust the sincerity of our enemy’s intentions to make peace, and when should we not?
  • Unit 3 – When is fearing minorities xenophobia, and when is it a question of national security?
  • Unit 4 – When can we coexist with “the other” and when do we need to separate to protect “our own”?
  • Unit 5
    • When is negative reporting “fake news” and when is it simply uncovering the truth?
    • Conclusion of The Beit Midrash Way.

Mahloket Matters: How to Disagree Constructively – The Beit Midrash Way, includes sourcesheets, educational videos and facilitator’s guides as well as all materials for the Sanhedrin Way. Cost: $500.

Already registered? Click here for the materials. 

(Photo Credit: Elmad)