Intermarriage

Is it wrong for a Jew to marry a non-Jew? If you were to find out that you are not Jewish, would you convert to Judaism? Intermarriage and Jewish Identity (Note to Facilitators: Discuss both questions before this mini-talk.) There’s a lot of intermarriage going on these

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Marriage

Imagine finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. S/he’s prepared to make a lifelong commitment but will never marry you. Would you accept this proposition? What qualities are absolutely indispensable for a good marriage? Lifelong Commitment vs. Marriage The Torah says

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Who Pays?

Six people cram together on a medium-sized couch. Realizing the precariousness of the situation, one of them says, “This couch can’t hold all of us. Maybe some of you should get up.” “C’mon!” they answer. “There’s no problem sitting here for a few more minutes. We’d have

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Love

1a. Can you love obnoxious people? 1b. What do you have to know about people in order to love them? How can you tell the difference between love and infatuation? Loving Obnoxious People A child could be an absolute terror – he could spit on his parents,

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Gossip

An old acquaintance that was found guilty for petty theft many years ago is now seriously dating your friend Linda. He completely regrets these actions and now has a stable job. Should you tell Linda about his past? Do you ever tell others disparaging information about a

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The Value of Life

1a. Would you be willing to murder one innocent person if it would save your own life and guarantee the cure for cancer? Why? b. What if the one innocent person were 90 years old? Life is precious and any decision must reflect its immeasurable value. Let’s

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Intolerance

Is it intolerant to think that your opinion is the truth, and everyone else’s opinion is wrong? Four blind men encounter an elephant. One grabs the leg and concludes it is a tree trunk. One holds the tail thinking it is a whip. Another touches the elephant’s

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Be Happy

If there were a pill that would induce a constant state of happiness, would you take it? 2a. Is there any circumstance in life that guarantees a person’s happiness? b. What trait is most essential in order to attain happiness? Induced Pleasure Imagine someone sitting for hours

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Free Will

1a. Do animals have free will? 1b. What is the difference between choosing a flavor of ice cream and choosing to return someone’s lost wallet? Does a poor person in a Third World country have the same power of free will as a wealthy person in North

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Faith and Knowledge

One evening Carol shares her doubts about the existence of God with her friend Steve. Steve tells her, “Believing in God is like believing in the tooth fairy – you have to take a leap of faith. Every religion boils down to faith.” Do you agree with

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My Goodness

Adolph Hitler rationalized the killing of Jews by equating them with vermin. He thought he was helping mankind. Does this mean even Hitler wanted to be good? If you were in Auschwitz would you rather be a typical Nazi guard or a prisoner? Rationalizations and Our Desire

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Self Respect

You’ll never read in an obituary, “Jeff made over $150,000, drove a Porsche and wore Armani suits. He was quite a guy.” Then why do so many people spend their life chasing monetary success while sacrificing things they know are worth more than money? THE HONOR TRAP

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Friends

If your close friend, in a fit of rage, were to commit an act of unjustified murder, would you stop being his friend? 2a. Should we use a set of criteria when choosing friends? 2b. What are the most important qualities to look for when choosing a

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Welcome to Shmooze

We hope you find these exciting and provocative modules a fun and useful addition to your discussions with friends and family about meaningful life issues. We created these user – friendly materials for you to share and discuss some of the depth and relevance of Jewish wisdom.

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