These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Who Holds the Key to Unlocking Your Potential?

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Hayim Herring

This post was originally published in the Times of Israel on January 2, 2019. Beginnings often provoke questions about where we find ourselves in life. Even if you attach no spiritual significance to a new secular calendar year, you may still feel a tremor of time shifting as you cross over from the past year, say Continue Reading »

The Israel Speed Train is Finally Here; A Student’s Adventure on the New Electric Rail

Posted on December 27, 2018 by Branden Charles

Before moving to Israel in June 2017, I had never set foot in the Holy Land. I finished my conversion to Judaism in October 2015, when I was already too old to participate in a Taglit/Birthright trip. After I was accepted to the 2017 summer intensive program at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, I knew Continue Reading »

Many Voices, One Community – A Student’s Reflection from the Beit Midrash

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Julia Ullman

אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם, הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם Eizeh hu hacham, ha’lomed mi’kol adam Who is wise? One who learns from all people. (Pirkei Avot 4:1) What makes Pardes special to me? The students’ willingness and interest to learn from one another, and genuine curiosity regarding each other’s diverse Jewish identities makes it a special place. Each unique Continue Reading »

Materialism is Passé – Parshat VaYishlach in Review

Posted on November 23, 2018 by Jason Gusdorf

Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph’s enslavement. Reading the stories of Bereshit often makes me wonder what the Torah is trying to tell me about my older brother. Three paradigmatic stories in their own right, all emphasizing the volatile and jealous nature of the brotherly relationship. Cain murders Abel, all because a jealous God Continue Reading »

In What Am I Obligated – Tefillin and Women

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Lara Rodin

Dear Pardes community, This past week, I was faced with the question of what to do when holy objects of ritual and spiritual expression become tools for political and social provocation, incitement, and aggression.  Last year, I began wrapping tefillin. Tefillin boxes include four essential sections from the Torah taken from the books of Shemot, Exodus Continue Reading »

Pardes Executive Learning Seminars. . . ‘truly a part of paradise’

Posted on October 9, 2018 by David Greenspoon

“What is Pardes’s Executive Learning Seminar? For me it is a chance to engage in serious study with amazing learners and teachers, concerned with an application of Jewish wisdom to our larger world, in a setting dedicated with a radical commitment to real pluralism. For me, Pardes is not just The Orchard. It is Gan Continue Reading »

“What would George do?” On Tshuvah and changing the way we think about change

Posted on September 13, 2018 by Mira Niculescu

The other day, my friend Hilorie told me about this wonderful technique she has been using for years in her psychotherapy practice. She tells her patients about this Seinfeld Episode in which George wanted to change things in his life. Remember George? The little fat, balding, glasses wearing and bitterness wreaking single middle-aged man, as Continue Reading »

Reflections on the Summer: Helping Each Other Through the Wilderness

Posted on August 19, 2018 by Steven Michael Grafton Philp

It’s worth taking a moment to consider the radical nature of the rabbinic project. When the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., there was no guarantee that the Israelite people, their culture, or their way of life would survive. In response to this uncertainty, the rabbis offered a profound reformulation of religious thought and Continue Reading »

Pardes Summer Program or “How I spent my Summer Vacation”

Posted on July 31, 2018 by Aviva Turner

“But why are we here?  And why can’t we be kinder and more tolerant of each other, other Jews, but also non-Jews?” Those were the questions my favorite havruta (study partner) kept asking through our three weeks together.  I can’t say I had any answers, but the opportunity to pose these questions and others like Continue Reading »

From fire to peace. Reflections on Tisha B’Av

Posted on July 22, 2018 by Mira Niculescu

Today, Tisha B’ Av, we commemorate the destruction and mourn the burning of the temple. As I open Facebook mechanically, trying to forget the hunger of a fast day, here I see it: a video shared, showing southern Israeli fields burning. Acres and acres of fields and forests and trees burning from fire kites sent Continue Reading »