Should the older brothers be held accountable for selling Yosef, their own brother, into slavery? Furthermore, how can brothers even conceive of doing such a thing to their very own? These are some questions which the students grappled with in Rabbi Kahane’s eighth grade Chumash class. Over the past few weeks they have been learning this classic biblical story in depth. By studying various commentaries, the class has learned that maybe the sale of Yosef was not so black and white. Were the brothers less at fault than we generally think? Were the brothers even justified in doing what they did? By studying multiple commentaries, the class was able to see varying takes on the same story.
The class took it to the courts as students prepared for a trial as the culminating project for this unit. One legal team was tasked to prosecute the brothers. One legal team was tasked to defend the brothers. And a third legal team was tasked to show that the entire case should be a mistrial because really it was the hand of Hashem which was responsible for everything that happened. The students did a beautiful job preparing and presenting their arguments.