Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Seder prep for Chana grade 8

I thought free will might be a topic a teenager could relate to.  I asked her what she thought about Pharoah and did he have free will.  She asked what that meant.  I said it means that you get to choose your actions and Hashem doesn't mess with your mind and make you choose certain behaviors.

She is of the opinion that if you choose to violate the Torah and there is immediate penalty like death penalty or plague, then that hampers free will.  She also cited a recollection of a discussion we had about a midrash when Eisav saw Yaakov and how the hashgacha manipulated certain aspects and caused Eisav to view Yaakov favorably (I don't even remember that midrash!).

She already knew that Hashem hardened Pharoah's heart.  We talked about why Hashem would do that.  I can't remember what Chana suggested as a reason.

I pulled out the Rambam and read to her about it being a punishment.

I was going to do the Sforno with her.  But when I looked at it, it felt to me that the sophistication of the flow of the ideas plus the word level would be more frustrating than a positive learning experience.

So I was mulling this over for a few days.

Today I showed her this song and asked her why she thought that I always associate this with Pharoah.

Quarterplay: Harden My Heart

We had a discussion about what it means to harden your heart or to have it hardened for you, and why a person would want his or her heart hard.

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