This week, for our journal, Morah Eta asked us to write about what we would do if we could plan our own Tanach class. First, I will explain to you what a Tanach is. The Tanach is a Hebrew Bible and what Christians call the “Old Testament”. The Tanach has 3 sections in it. The first section is the Torah or the Hebrew Bible. The second section is called Nevi’im or the book of prophets which contains a small book on each prophet. The last section of the Tanach is called Ketuvim which contains proverbs, psalms, and other books/scrolls. That is just a basic summary of what a Tanach is.
If I was creating a lesson plan for my Tanach class, I would focus more on the in depth meaning of the text and not just seeing how well you can translate it from Hebrew to English. I would also try to start a dialogue with my students about a piece of text that I found thought-provoking and I think they would too. I would give tests only a student’s understanding of the text and daily class grades would depend on whether each student participated in the discussion. I would probably study the book of prophets with my class because I think they would find that the most interesting seeing as how they already learned most of the main stories in the Torah from elementary school.
I would want my students to get a few things from my Tanach class. One thing I would want my students to get from my class is a life skill on how to start a dialogue and take a conversation deeper. Another thing I would want my students to learn is how to truly understand the text in the Tanach by asking them questions about it and engaging them in daily class discussions. If I had my own Tanach class, that is how I would plan it.