Author decries Israeli schools' flawed Bible lessons

Friday, April 27, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
In a scathing commentary written for Yediot Ahronot this week, Asaf Wohl, winner of the Deacon's Prize at Haifa University in the subject of Israel's history, lamented the state of Israel's secondary education system, which is making the Bible irrelevant to future generations of Israelis.

Religious schools have a tendency to focus on interpretations of the Bible, while Israel's non-religious school curriculum calls for the dissection of every line of every scripture in search of modern parallels. Meanwhile, both almost completely ignore the biblical narrative itself.

In the case of Israel's "secular" schools, where the vast majority of children are educated, the result is that the stories of the Bible that form the basis of the nation's history and moral fiber, have been made almost intellectually offensive to Israel's youth, decried Wohl.

To put the issue into perspective for those outside Israel, Wohl said the same effect would result from teaching children to put "The Sound of Music" under a magnifying glass, over-analyzing every line instead of understanding the story as a whole.

Only, with the Bible the situation is more serious, as the stories are meant to teach important life lessons.

"Whoever is not capable of understanding the original and full story will lack judgement and fail to walk in forgiveness," concluded Wohl.

A worrying prospect for any people. Even more so for the "apple of His eye."

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