7th grade Gemara picks up where 6th grade left off, engaging the Torat ha’Amorim - the teachings of the Amoraim. After spending the last two years being introduced to Mishnah and Gemara through the creative and thoughtful “Vishinantam” curriculum, this year we will be focusing on the final piece of the puzzle - the Gemara itself. Students in the 7th grade receive their first Gemarot and will divide their time between two major areas of focus: the “Vidi barta Bam” skills program and sugyot in the third and fourth chapters of Masechet Rosh HaShana.
There are 4 goals we have in mind for our 7th grade Gemara students:
1) Dveykut - Students will understand that learning Gemara is an incredibly deep way of connecting to Hashem (G-d). Our Sages were men of tremendous wisdom and divine inspiration, and through learning their words, we grab onto their coattails and ride the wave of Dveykut (connection to Hashem). Through this, learning Gemara, and more importantly Torah throughout life becomes a primary focus and consistent drive.
2) Development - continued development of skills in identifying parts of the Gemara. Through this, it is the hope that our students gain the confidence to open any Gemara and feel comfortable navigating the page and approaching the seeming web of complexity. Textually, the students will focus on the statements of the Amoraim, and will learn how to identify and classify statements of the Amoraim. This will build on their previous learning of Torat ha’Tannaim - the teachings of the earlier Sages in the Mishna and Braitot (Mishnayot that did not make it into the Mishna).
3) Reinforcement - reinforcing the skills through learning selected sugyot in Masechet Rosh HaShana. Students will be challenged to think about halachik questions around topics that are familiar. This will broaden their knowledge and respect for the process by which halacha is developed. An added bonus is that the Amoraim are famous for their life-lesson statements on appropriate conduct towards our fellow man, ourselves, and most importantly, towards Hashem.
4) 21st Century Torah Learner - students will continue to expand their digital footprint in Torah resources. Along with chabad.org, we will hopefully gain familiarity and fluency in resources like Sefaria.org, a website designed for accessing a treasure trove of Torah with both Hebrew and English versions.