What can Rabbinic arguments teach us about a complicated contemporary issue like cloning? As it turns out, a lot—and by applying these established arguments to a modern scenario, students gain a deeper understanding of both the issue at hand and the applicable rabbinic arguments. 

 

Moot Beit Din exposes high school students to the vitality of the Jewish legal system and helps them to fine-tune their critical thinking skills by applying halakhah (Jewish law) to hot topics such as stem cell research or immigration policy. Grappling with current issues from a rabbinical perspective, students learn to think on their feet, connect the past and the present, and create a compelling case. 

 

Assigned an issue of contemporary moral significance such as Internet privacy, state-sanctioned torture, or industrialized meat, teams of high school students pore over relevant halakhic sources and produce written arguments. They then present their oral reports and defend their conclusions before a panel of judges while they are all gathered together for a weekend-long Shabbaton.

 

This version of Moot Court helps students engage with ancient commentary and wisdom as well as the important issues of today. It brings what could feel like dusty scholarship and abstract issues to vivid life, and turns students into articulate, passionate, and confident advocates in service of a cause. 

 

Moot Beit Din 2016

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For more information, please email RAVSAK's student programs coordinator Yael Steiner at yael@ravsak.org

 

 

 

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