How to describe and teach Jewish ethics/morality to 12 year old?

Seeking topic lists, curricula, books, etc. on the topic of Jewish ethics/morality appropriate for a 12 year old. These might be case studies or more general principles.

  • 1
    Does "by example" count?
    – Double AA
    Jun 10, 2018 at 18:49
  • @DoubleAA Yes, certainly. But by example can be a slow, haphazard process. Other ideas/suggestions?
    – Yehuda W
    Jun 10, 2018 at 18:52
  • לא יגעת ומצאת, אל תאמין
    – Double AA
    Jun 10, 2018 at 18:58
  • אורחות צדיקים..
    – kouty
    Jun 10, 2018 at 20:32
  • @kouty OK, but it seems a bit heavy for a 12 yer old: sefaria.org/Orchot_Tzadikim.1?lang=bi Any part in particular you were thinking of?
    – Yehuda W
    Jun 10, 2018 at 23:17

3 Answers 3


Syllabus Morasha has a very nice collection of educational resources which works well with older children (I tried it with mine). Amongst their many topics, they have a number related to ethics and morality, e.g.,

Alternatively, in terms of books, you could use R Joseph Telushkin


Beyond this other excellent answer, I would heavily recommend learning Pirkei Avos. This is suitable for all ages, and is really an excellent basis. Note that there is also a plethora of commentaries on it, some of which will be useful whilst others will be more advanced.


I was also thinking of Pirkei Avot, as @Orangelsandlemons suggested. In particular, an adage in there says that one should make for himself a rav and acquire a friend.

I won't delve into what the differences are and why you need both, as you can find these answers among various commentaries. However, you absolutely need both if you will be successful. You can find a rav for him. But, ultimately, your child has to be the one to acquire the friend. You and others can suggest, but the friendship has to be mutually compatible and effective.

I would also recommend learning Mishlei as it is filled with wisdom written by the wisest person. What better mentor than King Solomon? I will admit that much of Mishlei is somewhat hard to understand, but there is loads of commentary as well as several good English translations around.

  • Interesting that in your comment to the question you suggest that people are more important than books, and here you recommend following Pirkei Avot to acquire a friend, and Rashi's first explanation is that "friend" means books.
    – Alex
    Jun 14, 2018 at 1:10

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