2. Content

A major part of the goal of learning חומש, in addition to fulfilling the obligation of לימוד תורה, is to learn its content:  the history, life lessons, personalities, and instructions which are our national heritage. Although schools may differ in their particular syllabus choices as to which פרשיות or פרקים to cover, students in grades 1 through 6 can amass a large and valuable base of Torah knowledge. The essence of the Mitzvah of learning Torah is mastery of its content – ה’s communication to the Jewish people.

 

Note to teachers: This standard provides an opportunity for students who struggle with other areas of learning חומש to shine. While engaging successfully with the text and language of חומש can prove challenging for many students, those same students may excel in engaging with the content learned from the חומש, independent of the text it is derived from.

Also note that the standards do not dictate a school’s choice of syllabus and which content is covered. For suggested content items in ספר בראשית, see the Appendix to Standard 2.

Enduring Understandings
1. The greater one’s knowledge base of תורה content, the more confidently and readily one can access new topics and texts within תורה.
2. Knowledge and retention are the keys to be able to analyze, delve into and think deeply about תורה.
3. Every detail in the תורה is equally holy and important, and selection of particular content is a purely pragmatic decision (based on time constraints and the role of the content in being able to access future topics and texts).
Essential Questions
1. Why do I have to know this?
2. How can I remember this?