Sources for Tiyul Week: The primacy of human dignity and the importance of peace.

By Shawn Fields-Meyer and Wendy Ordower

גדול כבוד הבריות שדוחה [את] לא תעשה שבתורה

Come and learn: Human dignity is so important that it supersedes even a biblical prohibition.
[Soncino translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. Who are the players in this text – seen and unseen?
2. What happens when human dignity is not a priority, such that this text makes it the most important thing?

ת"ר מפרנסים עניי נכרים עם עניי ישראל ומבקרין חולי נכרים עם חולי ישראל וקוברין מתי נכרים עם מתי ישראל מפני דרכי שלום.

Our Rabbis taught: We sustain the non-Jewish poor with the Jewish poor, visit the non-Jewish sick with the Jewish sick, and bury the non-Jewish dead with the Jewish dead, for the sake of peace.
[AJWS translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Who are the players in this text – seen and unseen?
2. What does the "for the sake of peace" mean?
3. How do we reconcile this text with the common tenancy to care for our own first?