from:Klugerman, Rabbi Tzvi
to:8th Grade Medieval Jewish History
Sept. 17, 2013
Today, September 17, Constitution Day, we studied the ways and reasons societies develop laws.
Looking at the parallel development of laws in both the Early Christian Church c.189 CE and the Mishna c.200 CE, governing the dates of holidays and the interaction with members of other religions, the students developed the understanding that societies legislate to achieve a desired effect.
We then looked at the development of the United States Constitution as a response to the lack of unified support by the States for the Federal Government. We then examined the concept of an amendment and how each amendment was in response to a state of affairs that needed to change. Among the amendments we analyzed methodologically, were the right to women’s suffrage and the implementation and repeal of prohibition.
From our animated discussions we extrapolated the following two rules that will be used repeatedly as we analyze history- not the facts, but the why and how peoples respond to external and internal factors and either regulate change or resist change:
The Nature of Law is Reactive
Enduring Laws Must be Enforceable
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