These and Those

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

Archive: February 2015

The Pardes Pop Up Beit Midrash

Posted on February 17, 2015 by Derek Kwait

Derek Kwait is an alumni from Pardes (Year 11-12, Fellow 12-13), former editor of These and Those, and currently the editor of the magazine New Voices. DLK said the atmosphere felt just like his bar mitzvah except he liked everyone there. Meesh, in a more positive formulation, said it felt like her wedding. For me, Continue Reading »

My Speech from the Closing Seuda

Posted on May 31, 2013 by Derek Kwait

When I spoke at Community Lunch yesterday, I only had an outline. This is the closest I can remember to what I actually said. Hi, my name’s Derek. I’m from Pittsburgh. I’m a Fellow here at Pardes, which means I’m in my second year, so if you have any questions about Pardes or Jerusalem, I’ll Continue Reading »

The Practical Dictionary of the Pardes Lexicon: Second Edition

Posted on May 27, 2013 by Derek Kwait

At the end of last year, I gave the world “The Kwait“ the necessarily abridged First Edition of The Practical Dictionary of the Pardes Lexicon. Now, as my Pardes experience comes to a close, I present this still necessarily abridged Second Edition, to be known as “The Kwait Shayni.” This edition, like its predecessor, is Continue Reading »

Irony’s Revenge: The Post-Modern Shidduch Date

Posted on May 16, 2013 by Derek Kwait

Jewish Dating Tips #1: If we call ourselves single, we make ourselves lonely—A single is a person shipwrecked on an island. Adam HaRishon, the first man was single. Nobody else has been single since. When you feel alone and single, make your life more meaningful. Start appreciating those around you. Use the most precious gift Continue Reading »

December 14, 2008 (I think)–The Day that Accidentally Changed my Life Forever

Posted on April 12, 2013 by Derek Kwait

Never underestimate the impact of one good deed, on the doer at least as much as on the recipient. I went on Birthright through Hillel in late December 2008. During one of our pre-Israel orientation sessions, they told us we would have the opportunity to pack suitcases filled with clothes, shoes, toys, etc.at the JCC Continue Reading »

The Wise Son’s Response

Posted on March 25, 2013 by Derek Kwait

Written during Avigayle Adler’s workshop during Pardes’ Night of Learning for Passover. That’s nice, but–if I can ask this and still keep my teeth intact–what’s it for? The Halakha doesn’t answer my question. By the way, did you know afikomen is a Greek word? What’s up with that? Why do we end our seders with Continue Reading »

Review of ‘Relics for the Present: Contemporary Reflections on the Talmud’ by Levi Cooper

Posted on March 16, 2013 by Derek Kwait

Think of it as divrei Torah for the Talmud. Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper’s Relics for the Present is an innovative, insightful, and thoroughly practical look at Mesechet Brachot that is sure to provide inspiration for Talmudic newcomers as much as long-time scholars. Whether read cover-to-cover or piecemeal, whether you’ve ever studied Tractate Brachot, or any Continue Reading »

[Student Profile] Hannah Grossman

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Derek Kwait

Hannah Grossman is an explorer. Her Jewish journey has taken her from the farthest ends of the earth to the deepest corners of her psyche. Yet the further she has traveled from her native New Jersey, the closer she has come to finally finding her Jewish home. Hannah grew up in West Orange, NJ to Continue Reading »

You’re at Pardes, Charlie Brown

Posted on February 26, 2013 by Derek Kwait

My skit from the Purim Shpiel. Script is included below the video.

My Dvar on Mishpatim from Chabad House on Campus’ Student Shabbat 2011

Posted on February 8, 2013 by Derek Kwait

The University of Pittsburgh’s Chabad House, run by two of my heroes, R. Shmuel and Sara Weinstein, is one of my favorite places on earth and one that has had an inestimable impact on my identity as a Jew. Once, when in late January 2011 they took a very rare Shabbat away, we students decided Continue Reading »

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