War, Peace and Judaism 4

  • 50 minutes
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Lesson Plan

Final lesson in a four-lesson unit. Students look at war and peace from the perspective of Biblical history and Jewish ethics by studying traditional Jewish texts. Students will be challenged to consider how Judaism synthesizes war and peace.

Lesson objectives

The student will be able to:

1. Describe various Biblical and Rabbinic approaches to war and peace.

2. Describe the Jewish ethical approach that includes both war and peace.


The student will appreciate:

1. That Judaism considers peace to be a fundamental goal.

2. That Judaism does not ignore war and recognizes that at times, war is necessary.

Resources & Equipment needed

Photocopies of the worksheets and source sheets


1. Hand out the sheets entitled “A time for war and a time for peace” and go through them with the class.

2. Conclude the discussion by explaining to the class that although the ideal is to have a world without war and violence, Judaism recognizes that that is not the reality, and therefore it integrates war and peace into its system of ethics, until the utopia can be reached.