Dugma Ishit- Seminar Hadracha - -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 14-16
Group Size: 15-20
Estimated Time: 60 minutes

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Resource Goal
The goal of this peulah is to make the chanichim differentiate between being a role model and being a personal example to others; while this theme has definitely been discussed before, it is important to repeat as they sign on to be dugmaot ishiot for the coming year.

Required Props & Materials
  • Flash cards of celebrities

  • Mirror

  • Location cards

Resource Contents



Dugma Ishit

Needed/prepare in advance:

  • Flash cards of celebrities

  • Mirror

  • Location cards


The goal of this peulah is to make the chanichim differentiate between being a role model and being a personal example to others; while this theme has definitely been discussed before, it is important to repeat as they sign on to be dugmaot ishiot for the coming year.


Part 1 These chavrei tnuah (aka CT) all know each other, but you dont know them. Take the first 5 minutes to learn names. Then take the celebrity flash cards and spread them out on the floor. Have each CT pick one based on who they would want their children (as of yet unborn) to have as role models. Have each person, going around the circle, state their choice and why. If no-one, have them volunteer a role model and explain. Once everyone has had a chance, ask them to do it again, based on if their friends convinced them differently, and also by adding a new object to the pile- a mirror. Ask them how many feel that they are at a stage that they are ready to be considered a role model? An awkward silence will most probably follow. 15 minutes

And that is just fine. The use of the mirror is to lead the discussion to the point- are you ready to be a dugma ishit? And aware of all it entails?

Sicha Being a dugma ishit is a lot of pressure. And they are words that are thrown around a lot. In English, the phrase that is used most frequently is a role model- but the literal translation of dugma ishit is a personal example. Are those two different definitions? We think so. There are also different perspectives- the role model, and the admirer

A role model- role models arent picked because theyre close to the person- its more untouchable, like a Rabbi or movie star (lhavdil) and that they are those we stand from afar and watch, they have elements of their lives that we would like to emulate. You tend to know more about a role model than they would ever know about you. As we saw in the beginning.

Then there are those in our lives that are personal examples- we can talk to them, relate to them, they come from similar backgrounds- yet we have a lot to learn from them and admire them for a number of reasons. The way that they live their lives is something that we feel is realistic for us also.

As for the role models/examples themselves- the role models would probably not like to admit that they are role models. There is a lot of pressure associated with being a role model, and with constantly being in the public eye. Take for example any of the people we call role models today- in modern society the role models are the celebrities, the athletes, the politicians. The crazy part about most of these role models- they lead completely separate lives, in front of and behind the public eye. And we are so quick to forgive short comings, almost expect it (!!) when there is hypocrisy between the ways they conduct their lives in public to the way they do it in private. Would you really want to live your life completely as one of these so called role models? Hopefully the answer is no.

As for being a personal example, I think our guide needs to be the Torah. The Torah teaches us something completely different. The Talmud teaches that one can learn as much or more from the private lives of the Sages as from their teachings in the study hall (Berachot 7a), and that the ordinary conversations of Torah scholars are worthy of study (Avodah Zarah 19b).Give out the source and have someone read and explain it. Halachic rulings have been based on the private deeds of great Torah figures, even when observers have not understood the legal basis of what they did. Could the private conversations or conduct of the general run of this century's public figures be recorded as an authoritative book of law? (I got that from somewhere, not my lines)

Definitely the talmidei chachamim are personal examples to us. But not everyone can be a Talmud chacham. You can also be a simple man- just one who lives their lives making a conscious decision to be the best they can be, both for themselves and to inspire others. " , "

And then more than that. Whether or not we have an audience, our goal as Jews is to always strive to be the best we can be- thats why we have the mitzvot ( to help us achieve our most). Hashem gives us the opportunity to be as perfect as possible- but we all have our shortcomings. Once we have fallen, in the eyes of others, can we ever regain that status? Yes, because that it the beauty of being the personal example- not hypocritical, but aware that just like others we are human and make mistakes- yet we dont repeat them.

Game 2

Give each chanich/a the 5 places written on small cards and ask them to order them according to the best place one could be a dugma ishit-snif, school, minyan, pizza, place, basket ball court etc. They have to put their pieces on the squares they believe in. After, quickly tally the votes and see where it is most popular to be a dugma ishit. Ideally, the answer should be pretty much equal everywhere. Why

Because that is the gist of being a madrich or involved in a snif- you are not just a role model, you are a personal example. Everything you do, in and out of the snif needs to be done keeping in mind that you just been upgraded to a position that others are looking at you, saying wow, hes just like me, from my neighborhood and goes to my school and I HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN FROM HIM Now that you are a madrich, it goes beyond the weekly snif and when you are wearing your tilboshet. In every step that you take, you have now made a conscious decision to be personal example to anyone you come in contact with. And they will take their cue from you, just as you did from your madrichim. If you make a point of showing up to davening on time, no matter what- they will notice. And if you tell them to come to a peulah on time and show up 17 minutes late yourself, they will notice also. You now have all this power- inside and outside of the sniff.

Further discussion

  • What if I dont want to?

  • Can I make mistakes? If I do, is that the end of my Bnei Akiva career?

Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Hadracha > Leadership

» All > Hadracha > Role Model

» All > Hadracha > General

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