9th Grade Beit Midrash 5777 - Making a Talmudic Idea Occupy Space

Students in Rabbi Rosenberg's 9th grade Beit Midrash program, after studying in the seventh chapter of Bavli Sotah and various Tanach texts this year, composed their own sugyas (talmudic discussions) exploring one of two main ideas that we discussed throughout our study: שבח shevach (praise) and גנות g'nut (shortcomings), or the obligation to say certain things בלשון הקודש bilshon haKodesh (the holy language - Hebrew) and those things that are said בכל לשון b'chol lashon (in any language). Their sugyas were composed of operations of talmudic logical argumentation that laid out ideas, challenges and supports of a starting claim.

Students were then asked to transpose their sugya ideas into objects:

  • Design a 2d/3d object that will work like a folding screen, and have a definable inside and outside face.
  • Based on your sugya choice of bechol lashon/bilshon ha-kodesh or sh’vah/g’nut, design a way to depict your chosen sugya information on 2d surface (both front and back are available) using printing, paper cutting or paper burning (using the laser cutter in the lab), and application of color.
  • Decide which of the faces (visible, external vs. private, internal) will depict which set of information.

Students were provided with default material limits (for instance, due to size limitations on the laser cutter), and had to submit a sketch of their project along with their proposal, in order to scaffold reasonable technical viability. Some students superseded the design limits in evolving the idea into creative formats, and using different materials than the default.

The design rubric included the following:

  • Your design must be clearly stated in a short (maximum 150-word) text that explains what your key message is about inside/outside, and specific details that you want to highlight in your design. 
  • Your design effectively shows your key message using shapes or spatial relationships between surfaces.
  • Your design illustrates ideas from your sugya that have to do with your key message, using words from your sugya or from prooftext you may choose, or from quotes that you can demonstrate relate to your sugya’s ideas.
  • Your design MAY include color, or may be in black-and-white.


Billy's project                                                            Rebecca's project                                              Gabby's project

Sophia's project                                                       Matthias' project                                                Sarah's project

Maya's project                                                         Gabe's project                                                     Devora's project

Serena's project                                                       Mia's project                                                        Shaqed's project

Lillian's project                                                         Ira's project                                                          Sivan's project

Rivkah's project                                                       Hayden's project                                                 Helen's project

Ruby's project                                                         Stefanie's project