“Above all, there’s our humanity”: Teachers’ intertextual responses to reading an ancient Hebrew text


  • Esty Teomim-Ben Menachem The MOFET Institute, Efrata College of Education
  • Ilana Elkad-Lehman Levinsky – Wingate Academic College




havruta, L1 teachers, ancient Hebrew text, Jewish religiosity, multiple case study, intertextual connections


This study examines the role played by intertextual connections suggested by teachers engaged in an interpretive dialogue on a sixth-century Hebrew text. This is a multiple-case study based on intertextual conversation research. The participants—26 Hebrew-as-L1 teachers in secular schools in Israel—were asked to study the text in havruta, a traditional Jewish approach to studying sacred texts, involving a dyad of learners who debate their meanings. Every havruta conversation was considered a case and was compared to the others. After the conversations, interviews were conducted with some of the teachers to learn more about the intertextual links that emerged. The findings suggested significant variance in the number and content of intertextual connections between the groups, given the teachers’ religiosity or previous experience with traditional Jewish texts. The connections suggested shaped the processing of the text, the teachers’ attitudes thereto, and their willingness to teach it. The main conclusion is that studying in multicultural havruta groups increases intertextual connections emerge and helps teachers to interpret the text.




How to Cite

Teomim-Ben Menachem, E., & Elkad-Lehman, I. (2024). “Above all, there’s our humanity”: Teachers’ intertextual responses to reading an ancient Hebrew text. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 24(1), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.21248/l1esll.2024.24.1.604