United Monarchy


Why does the Torah express ambivalence about appointing a king? What are the pros and cons of having a monarch? In this lesson, learners will explore sources from the Torah and the Prophets that depict the “good, the bad and the ugly” of ancient Israel’s early political leadership.  Students will take a close look at the successes and failures of several kings who ruled over a united Israel. The qualities of an effective leader, the ethical challenges faced by Israel’s kings and the factors that can bring down a great leader are among the thought provoking discussion topics included in this resource. Also featured are creative learning activities such as an opportunity to create a campaign for and against anointing a king, and an analysis of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Lesson Attachments​

The learners will:

  1. understand Judaism’s ambivalence towards the establishment of a monarchy, and the complexities of balancing politics with morality

  2. know the events that led to the creation of a United Monarchy and the high and low points of the early Israelite kings

  3. be able to list the attributes of a good leader, and to create campaign posters, advocating and opposing the appointment of a king, 

Unpacked for Educators materials include:

  1. An educator’s guide that  contains many rich components. These are organized under the following titles: 

  • review (questions that relate to the video)

  • discussion

  • activities

  • reflection

  • further learning

  1. A video designed to spark interest in the topic.

  2. A lesson plan (link in the attachment above) that incorporates additional building blocks for the construction of an engaging and interactive lesson.

Computer, Projector, Pens, Paper notebook, Colored Pencils, A3 paper, Internet

The website link includes a “further learning” section in the educator’s guide.

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