Whose Life Is It Anyway? Syllabus

September 30
Introduction and Expectations
Essential Questions for the Semester
Cloning and Other Genetic Technologies: The reasons for pursuing genetic technologies
Pikuach Nefesh (Saving a Life): Sanhedrin 4:5
Choosing Life: Devarim 30:19
Be Fruitful and Multiply: B’reishit 1:28

October 7
Cloning and Other Genetic Technologies, continued: The reasons for cautions with genetic technologies
Anavah (Humility)
“One may not sacrifice one life to preserve another”: Mishne Torah, Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah 5:7
God intends each human being to be unique: Niddah 31a and Sanhedrin 38a
Self-idolization: Tehilim (Psalms 90:12)
Bal Tashchit (Do Not Waste or Destory): B’reishit (Genesis) 2:15

October 14
Euthanasia
Devarim 32:39. I Shmuel 25:37, Ezekiel 18:4
Shabbat 151b

October 21
Euthanasia, continued
Sanhedrin 43a, 45a
Ketubot 104a

October 28
Sexual Ethics: An Introduction
B’reishit 1:31, 9:6
The Holy Letter, Nachmanides
Psalms 139:14
Yevamot 63b

November 4
Sexual Ethics, continued: Should we be having sex for pleasure?
Talmud Yerushalmi, Kiddushin 2:65
Ketubot 61b
Ketubot 62b
Eruvin 100b

November 11
Sexual Ethics, continued: Masturbation and Birth Control
Maimonides, Mishne Torah, Laws of Ethics 4:19
Maimonides, Mishne Torah, Isuray Biah 21:18
Tosefta Yevamot 8:2

November 18
Abortion: For and Against
Chullin 58a
Arachin 7a
Yevamot 69b
Sanhedrin 84b
Maimonides, Laws of Injury and Damage 5:1

November 25
 Thanksgiving—no classes

December 2
Harmful Behaviors: Smoking
Kiddushin 39b
Moshe Feinstein, Igeret Moshe, Yoreh Deah 2:49
Shabbat 129b
Niddah 31a

December 9
Harmful Behaviors, continued: Drinking
Numbers Rabbah 10:8
Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 1:8
Eruvin 65a
Pesachim 113a

December 16
Harmful Behaviors, continued: Over-/Under-Eating
Proverbes 25:16
Maimonides, Mishne Torah, Hilchot Deot 4
Bava Kamma 46b

December 23
Winter Break—no classes

December 30
Winter Break—no classes

January 6
Consumerism: How much is too much?
Genesis Rabbah 8:12

January 13
Consumerism, continued
A look at whether we are acting appropriately in society today
Ecclesiates Rabbah 7:28