Harry Potter & Judaism

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1 Harry Potter & Judaism Curriculum Goals: Students will consider and discuss a wide range of topics within Judaism Students will learn about finding connections to Judaism even in the most unlikely of places Students will have the opportunity to learn from a accessible source the Harry Potter movies Structure: The general structure of each class is to alternate between watching a few scenes from a Harry Potter movie and then discussing one or more of the Jewish ideas that emerge. Within a 45 minute period (taking into account the fact that campers are usually late) I have managed to get through two clips and short discussions per class. I found that it is easier to continue each class with the same movie where we left off, rather than picking various clips which takes more time to find and perhaps change disks.

2 Topical Index: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer s Stone צער בעלי חיים זכין לאדם שלא בפניו ואין Wishing Trespassing / Breaking & entering Window Shopping / Just browsing Fate/Karma Martyrdom השבת אבידה Choosing the right friends Sorting or dividing people based on skills, ability, heredity? Meals/food as markers in time Talking to the dead Do not embarrass Betting/Gambling? Asking questions Teacher punishing student Dreams Owning dangerous animals Courage Self sacrifice Good & Evil ביקור חולים Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets Slavery Self-abuse/Affliction מצוה שבא בעבירה Accidental damage of property Embarrassment in Public Proper punishments Converts & Mamzerim Innocent until proven guilty? Doctors Misleading others

3 Scene, Topic & Source: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer s Stone Harry & Dudley are at the zoo watching a snake behind the glass, accidentally using magic, Harry frees the snake and traps his cousin inside the cage צער בעלי חיים o Shulchan Aruch Orach Hayyim 305:19-20 Harry starts receiving his letters from Hogwarts, but Uncle Vernon takes them from him and prevents him from getting them. זכין לאדם שלא בפניו ואין o Kiddushin 23a Harry and his relatives are in the shack on the island in the middle of the storm. At midnight Harry makes a birthday wish and Hagrid breaks the door down. o Wishing Mishna Brachot 9:3 o Trespassing / Breaking & entering Sanhedrin 72a Harry is in Diagon Alley and people are looking in at the broom shop at the new Nimbus 2000 broom. o Window Shopping / Just browsing Mishna Bava Metziah 4:10 In Diagon Alley Harry visits the wand shop and is told by Ollivander that the wand chooses the wizard. o Fate/Karma Shabbat 156a Hagrid tells Harry about how his parents died o Martyrdom Brachot 61b On the train Hermione helps Neville look for his frog השבת אבידה o See Shorashim curriculum Right before entering the dining room for the sorting ceremony, Malfoy speaks to Harry and offers to help him find the right friends, and he responds that he can do so on his own. o Choosing the right friends Pirke Avot 1:6 & 7 The first night at Hogwarts there is the sorting ceremony where all of the new students are sorted into their houses and then there is the

4 opening feast. There are several ghosts who speak to the students during this scene. o Meals/food as markers in time Pesach seder, מפסקת,סעודת three meals on Shabbat The first night at Hogwarts there is the sorting ceremony where all of the new students are sorted into their houses and then there is the opening feast. There are several ghosts who speak to the students during this scene. o Talking to the dead 1 Samuel 28: 7-16 Quidditch game o Betting/Gambling Mishna Sanhedrin 3:3 Harry and friends are pressing Hagrid for information about the Socerer s stone, and he responds that they shouldn t ask any more questions o Asking questions Harry and others are caught out at night and punished by having to go into the forest with Hagrid o Teacher punishing student Harry is looking at the mirror that shows his parents, for the nth time, and Dumbledore tells him that it is not good to dwell on dreams o Dreams תענית חלום Hagrid acquires a dragon egg o Owning dangerous animals Bava Kamma 15b Neville tries to stop Harry, Ron & Hermione from going out at night o Courage Midrash about Nachshon entering ים סוף before anyone else Ron plays the game of chess and sacrifices himself so that the others can go on. o Self sacrifice יהרג ואל יעבר Three things Voldemort tells Harry that there is no real division between good and evil, only power. o Good & Evil Tree of Knowledge of good and evil Dumbledore goes to visit Harry in the hospital wing and tells him that Nicholas Flamel decided to destroy the Sorcerer s Stone

5 ביקור חולים o o Suicide / expediting ones death 1 Samuel 31:3-5 Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets Dobbie appears to Harry and warns him not to go back to Hogwarts o Slavery o Self-abuse/Affliction Yoma 8:1 Ron and his brothers borrow their father s flying car to rescue Harry who has been locked up by his Uncle. מצוה שבא בעבירה o Ron and Harry crash into the tree when getting to Hogwarts, then Snape chastises them for damaging the tree. o Accidental damage of property Bava Kamma Ch 2 Ron is sent a howler letter which screams out his mother s chastisement. o Embarrassment in Public o Proper punishments מדה כנגד מדה Malfoy calls Hermione a mudblood. o Converts & Mamzerim Deut 23:3 Harry, Ron, & Hermione are caught at the scene of the crime a cat is petrified and words written in blood on the wall. o Innocent until proven guilty? המוציא מחברו עליו הראיה After the Quidditch game Harry s wrist is broken and a professor attempts to fix it, but causes the bones to disappear o Doctors & obligation to heal Hermione is brewing polyjuice potion in the girls bathroom o Misleading others

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