The Yerusha, Part 1
Two-lesson unit on Bereshit 15: 1-8. Students learn about God’s promise to grant Avram a child. Intensive text-study. Includes worksheets.
In this two-lesson unit, students learn about God’s promise to grant Avram a child.
The student will be able to describe the conversation between God and Avram as follows:
1) God tells Avram that He protects him.
2) Avram is concerned about his lack of children.
3) Avram does not want his inheritance to go through Eliezer.
4) God promises Avram that Avram will produce his own offspring.
Students will be able to
1) Identify Biblical words with the root “yerusha” (ירושה).
1) Relate to the Avram as a real person with emotions (i.e. he fears, worries, and gets upset).
Resources & Equipment needed
Vocabulary binder, blackboard, highlighter/pens/pencil, text sheets and worksheets (see appendices 1 and 2), overhead projector (optional).
I. Teacher Preparation: 1) Photocopy text sheets. 2) Photocopy worksheets. 3) Arrange to have an overhead projector in the classroom (optional). 4) Write ירושה on the board, in large letters.
II. Textual Reading of Paragraph 1 (1 minute): Read a line in Hebrew and choose a student to read the translation (a good way to include a weaker Hebrew reader is by having them read the English). Instruct the student to translate each phrase as it is read. Read each phrase with feeling, acting when possible. After the end of each section, enter into the discussion below.
III. Discussion (2 minutes): T: אל תירא אברם ! Wait a second! Afraid? Why is Avram suddenly afraid? He just beat a massive army with a smaller army! S: Avram is worried that he won’t have a family with which to share his reward from God. T: How does God reassure Avram, make him feel better? S: God lets Avram know that God is still protecting him and providing for him. T: Didn’t God protect him and help him during the battle? S: Yes. Maybe he thinks God is finished protecting him. T: How can God prove to Avram that He is still protecting him? S: God says that He will bring Avram ‘rewards.’
IV. Textual Reading of Paragraph 2 (1 minute): Continue to read and act out paragraph 2. English reader should continue reading the translation as well. Encourage student in translating first line.
V. Discussion and Highlighting (2 minutes): T: How do you think Avram is feeling in this verse? Happy? Angry? Upset? S: Upset. T: Why is Avram upset? S: He has no children. T: Avram wants to be able to share it his yerusha with his family. Problem is, Avram doesn’t have much of a family right now. Only a wife. To whom does Avram feel he will have to give his rewards to? S: Eliezer, his servant and helper. T: Is Avram satisfied with this? S: No. S: It’s not the same. It’s sad not to have your own children. T: Why is it sad not to have children? Accept various answers, such as: lonely, no one to play with, you want someone who is yours, etc. A student may suggest that Avram has no one to share his things with. That is, no one to whom to pass on his possessions. T: What is a yerusha? (Point to board.) S: An inheritance. (Tell students if they don’t know. Write ‘inheritance’ in English next to ירושה). T: What is an inheritance? S: A gift someone gives you after they die. T: Who usually gives a person a yerusha? S: From a parent, family member. Accept various answers and spider out responses on the board (see appendix 3). T: So who do you think Avram wants to give his inheritance to? S: A child of his own. T: Which words in the verse tell us this? S: ואנכי הולך ערירי T: Highlight that phrase.
VI. Textual Reading of Paragraph 3 and Discussion (5 minutes): Appoint different Hebrew and English readers to read the parts of God, Avram and a narrator. Encourage them to act if possible. T: What does Avram repeat in these phrases? S: He repeats his concern about not having children. T: Which phrases will we highlight that relay this information? S: לי לא נתתה זרעand והנה בן ביתי יורש אותי T: If Avram is repeating this concern about being childless, what does this tell us about him? S: That it really, really bothers him that he has no children. T: What do you think God will say to reassure him? Accept various responses. T: Let’s see how God reassures him.
VII. Textual Reading of Paragraph 4 (4 minutes): Tell students to read paragraph 4 quietly to themselves and then ask for two volunteers who feel that they can read it aloud. Appoint new readers who can read with feeling.
VIII. Discussion (4 minutes): T: How does God tell Avram not to worry about sharing his yerusha? S: God tells Avram that he will have a child. T: Which phrase means that Avram will have his own child? S: כי אם אשר יצא ממעיך T: Which phrase means that Avram’s child will be his heir (inherit from him) and share his rewards? S: הוא יירשך T: Highlight all the phrases discussing Avram’s yerusha. Wait 45 seconds – 1 minute. What did you highlight? S: כי אם אשר יצא ממעיך הוא יירשך T: Let’s conclude our textual reading for today. Did Avram discover what his yerusha would be? S: Yes, a child. T: How do you think he feels about this promise? S: Accept all appropriate responses (e.g. happy, excited). Draw a picture of Avram on the board with appropriate emotions. See appendix 3. T: Did you notice how many times a form of the word yerusha appeared? Circle all the words in paragraphs 1,2,3,4 which are forms of the word yerusha. How many words did you circle? S: Three words, but two different forms. T: What are they? S: יורש, יירשך T: Highlight them in the paragraphs.
IX. Worksheet Activity (8 minutes): Distribute worksheet. In pairs or alone, have the students read the directions and complete the work. At this point, they should only complete the first two columns in the chart and the first question. The rest of the worksheet will be completed tomorrow. Note: answers appear in Appendix 3.
X. Worksheet Review (6 minutes): Ring bell to indicate time is up. Review answers, writing on the board. Discuss suggestions for theme, accepting or rejecting ideas as a class.
XI. Conclusion (2 minutes): T: Avram is on the brink of receiving his yerusha. How is Avram feeling now? S: Excited and nervous. T: Indicate picture on board that concurs with this opinion. When you’re about to get something you really, really want, do you ever doubt that it will really happen? Do you think maybe it’s hard from his to believe it? S: Maybe a little. T: Tomorrow we’ll learn just what he asks of God to prove that his yerusha will really happen.