I enjoy Teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict by far more than the rest of this irritating US History Survey class. Unlike most days, where i'm having to rush just to get the material out, I schedule two weeks on this topic and take my time. It's really nice actually explaining things in close detail. I had a nice opener today after having some argument on Monday over the "Biblical Truth" of the region.
"On monday we discussed the Temple Mount" I told my class this morning "and I told you that, according to Jewish tradition, this is the location of the famous Binding of Isaac. I got a lot of pushback on that. Some of you challenged me, saying that Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son on Mt. Sinai, which is nowhere near Jerusalem. I was boggled by this, and I am embarrassed that I responded inappropriately. I told you that Judaism, like many other religions, tends to take important events and relocate them to important places, which is why this does not match your understanding. Some of you balked at this."
"I went home and looked it up, certain that I had made a mistake, and I did. What I should have said is: Judaism, like many other religions, tends to take important events and
relocate them to important places, which is why this does not match your
understanding, and you are all wrong because this didn't happen at Mt. Sinai in the first place. It happened at Mt. Moriah, which is a fictional place anyway. According to Jewish tradition Mt. Moriah is this little hill under the Al Aqsa mosque."
One student, who had ardently defied my claims about the beliefs of Christianity and Judaism on Monday chimed in to support me. "He's right. I looked it up too."
It's always nice when a student who argued with you openly in class goes home with the intention of proving you wrong, does useful research, and comes to a new understanding of the subject.