These and Those

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

Archive: May 2012

Week 35: Other Things I’ve Learned in Israel

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Derek Kwait

(X-posted from my home blog, Yinzer in Yerushalayim) I came to Israel wanting to learn Torah, and I have. Thank God, I’ve learned tons of Torah here and am privileged to learn more each day. But now that it’s May and I’m entering into the home stretch of my first year in Israel, I’ve gotten Continue Reading »

Week 34: Yom HaZikaron/Yom HaAtzma’ut

Posted on April 29, 2012 by Derek Kwait

(X-posted from my home blog, Yinzer in Yerushalayim) Since the end of Pesach, the whole city has been snowing Israeli flags. Every morning, more and more of them turned up, sticking out of car windows, strewn across balconies, suspended from buildings and streetlights, pocketing rearview mirrors—flags everywhere a flag could fit, all in preparation for Continue Reading »

Week 33: Family

Posted on April 22, 2012 by Derek Kwait

This is the time of year for family. Last week, when Shabbat directly followed the last day of Pesach, creating a rare 8-day Passover in Israel, Friday afternoon, I was kindly invited over the home of a local family. The Mr. and the Mrs. were born in America, but each have been here for well Continue Reading »

Uncle Bob

Posted on April 19, 2012 by Derek Kwait

I had no relatives in the Holocaust, but I did have “Uncle” Bob Mendler. Uncle Bob’s family was my Mom’s family’s best friends in her native Latrobe, PA’s tiny Jewish community, and his wife was a cousin of my Grandmother on my father’s side. As the video documents, he used to lecture on his experiences in Continue Reading »

Week 32: Passover

Posted on April 16, 2012 by Derek Kwait

“Even if all of us were wise, all of us understanding, all of us knowing the Torah, we would still be obligated to discuss the exodus from Egypt,” says the Haggada. While by no means do I, like most of the people I had seder with this year, consider myself inordinately wise or understanding, I Continue Reading »

Week 31: The Incoming Tide

Posted on April 6, 2012 by Derek Kwait

Long story short, I was accepted to be a Pardes Fellow next year, charged to be a leader in the community and run the blog while getting paid a generous stipend. Of course this is what I wanted to do, but the question keeping me up at night was whether or not it is what Continue Reading »

Week 30: The Golan Tiyyul

Posted on April 1, 2012 by Derek Kwait

Tuesday through Thursday, we were in the Golan. Unlike our last two tiyyulim, the Golan, Israel’s back 40, is the anti-desert; especially now, in the springtime, the place is so overflowing with life and water and cow dung, you can’t take one step outdoors in the entire region without stepping in one of the three. Continue Reading »

Week 29: Role-Playing, or Jesus, Death, and All Their Friends

Posted on March 25, 2012 by Derek Kwait

(X-posted from my home blog, Yinzer in Yerushalayim) Sunday night Pardes made history as the first yeshiva ever to host the launching event for a new edition of the New Testament. The Jewish Annotated New Testament, co-edited by friend of Pardes and Gene Wilder look-alike, Mark Z. Brettler, is actually a lot like the original Continue Reading »

What Judaism Means to Me

Posted on March 19, 2012 by Derek Kwait

I have been slowly making my way through Heschel’s God in Search of Man since I boarded the bus from Pittsburgh to New York en route to Pardes and Jerusalem last August. It’s going so slowly because, as usually happens when I read Heschel’s writing, it’s hard to read quickly when every sentence blows your Continue Reading »

Week 28: At the Crossroads

Posted on March 17, 2012 by Derek Kwait

(X-posted from my home blog, Yinzer in Yerushalayim) The biggest event this week was our Critical Issues speaker, Rabbi Michael Melchior, former Member of the Knesset, executive in the World Zionist Organization, current Chief Rabbi of Norway, and, would-be top candidate to succeed Jonathan Sacks as Chief Rabbi of Britain, if he wanted the job, Continue Reading »

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