Freedom Of Choice
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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This is the place!
explain to the chanichim that we can always be free if we have our most important freedom – our bchira chofshit.
some freedom quotes (provided), a story (missing)
Topic: Freedom of choice
Written by: Netanel Afek
Age Group: 9th Grade/Zach
For weekday or shabbat
Freedom of Choice
Goals: explain to the chanichim that we can always be free if we have our most important freedom – our bchira chofshit.
Tools: some freedom quotes (provided), a story (missing)
Bchira Chofshit. Following the excitement of The Oscars this week, we’ll have our peula structured like the Oscars Ceremony – just a bit shorter (the actual event is five hours… brrr).
Ask them all while you’ll do this next thing to think of what they want to say if they have won an Oscar, and which Oscar would it be (not limited to the real categories).
Now, give them the sheet with quotes (all concerning aspects of freedom, what is freedom, or its connection with life), read the quotes aloud, and discuss: What was the frame of reference of the author, atmosphere, and situation in which this quote was said? Does that matter at all? Would the same author think differently about freedom if he were in a different situation? Let them express their opinions freely – they can choose whatever they want… ask them if they have other relevant quotes in mind.
You, the host of this year’s Oscars, will present the winners one by one. Each chanich will come up and say what Oscar he won, and his speech (if he/she doesn’t want to make a speech, they can just tell us what they would talk about). [this should take a while.]
We have now reached the most honorable Oscar in today’s event. The Honorary Award for life-long achievements. This Award goes to… a young lawyer. “?!?!?!” you ask, well, just tell them the story attached, and read the letter at the end from the paper.
Discussion: so what is better – life or death? Freedom or death? Is it possible that the young lawyer went crazy? In what ways then? How does the story reflect the freedom of choice in general, and the lawyer’s specifically? Mention to the Chanichim Patrick Henry’s famous quote “give me liberty or give me death.” Why is not having liberty so bad? What does that mean to not have liberty (relate it to the story)? Finally, why does the lawyer deserve the honorary award for life-long achievements?
Conclusion: freedom of choice is perhaps the most important freedom one can have and can be taken away. A man who can’t make his own choices does not live a real life - in our world choices have to be made, and conflicts solved. You can mention “the Matrix” as an excellent example of taking the most basic freedoms away from people. We live in a free country, where we’re allowed to make choices of what to say, what to think, how to act, and what opinion to take on many things. The Oscars show the process of free votes and equal opportunity for everyone to win. It also reflects it with the people participating – the actors and directors and celebrities who go the Oscars represent their ideals, and have to do a good job and leave a good impression if they want to gain support for their opinion; they can’t force anybody to think like them.
And the Nominees Are…
Fight and you may die. Run and you'll live, at least a while. And, dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance -- just one chance -- to come back here and tell our enemies, that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!
--William Wallace (Mel Gibson) Braveheart
From the prodigious hilltops of
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Address at
There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand.
A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water.
- Fisher Ames (1758-1808)
Democracy's the worst form of government except for all the others.
- Winston Churchill, Sir (1874-1965)
I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.
- Robert Frost (1874-1963) , 1935