These and Those

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

Archive: January 2012

Spectrum of Passion

Posted on January 10, 2012 by Shibley

  Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in a trip called Perspectives Israel which brought me to several locations around Israel, and provided me with an opportunity to hear from a number of different people in on the Israeli political spectrum. With stops in and around Jerusalem, Sderot, and Gush Etzion, I Continue Reading »

In the Words Part I

Posted on January 10, 2012 by Shibley

T’fillah is obviously made up of seemingly countless words. Words that we can learn to say repeatedly, by memory, mumble through, or strike from our t’fillot. Lately, I have wondered about what small changes to the words would do to our experience of prayer. To that end, I have been experimenting with Nusach Sfard instead Continue Reading »

Night Seder Dvar: Vayeishev

Posted on December 16, 2011 by Shibley

Our parasha, Vayeishev, concludes this week with Yosef sitting in the prison of Pharaoh. Yosef has just concluded interpreting the dreams of his fellow prisoners, the cupbearer and the baker, both of whom had committed relatively minor crimes in the eyes of Pharoah. Why would Yosef care about the dreams of anybody? Remember, Yosef has Continue Reading »

A New Greenback

Posted on November 20, 2011 by Shibley

Nope, not about freshly printed U.S. dollars, but it got your attention! Nearly two weeks ago we began adding the request for rain to our daily prayers. Within hours, there was a torrential downpour, with a brilliant lightening display and booming thunder. This grand display of the awesome power of nature was certainly awe inspiring. Continue Reading »

Night Seder d’var: Chayei Sarah

Posted on November 16, 2011 by Shibley

Over the past weeks, I have used afternoon seder to study the laws of aveilut (mourning). As with many areas of halakha, there are numerous details and caveats. I have found myself troubled by the seemingly impersonal details of the halacha, which is brings me to Chayei Sarah, our parasha this week. Sarah dies in Continue Reading »

Windows on Jerusalem

Posted on November 15, 2011 by Shibley

Throughout Jewish history, since the destruction of the Second Temple, up to the present day, Jews have longed for a return to Jerusalem. At weddings, in blessings after meals, in the t’fillot, in song, and in literature, the Jewish soul yearns for Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish universe. Two Shabbatot ago, I was in Continue Reading »

Secular Sukkah

Posted on October 30, 2011 by Shibley

Sukkot has been over for a week and a half, but there is one more element that I observed and would like to share. The secular sukkah. It was not surprising to find sukkot in areas like the ultra-Orthodox Mea She’arim, or even in the more Modern Orthodox/Dati neighborhoods, like the one where I live. Continue Reading »

Uniforms

Posted on October 24, 2011 by Shibley

I would venture a guess that the majority of jobs throughout the world have some sort of uniform. Whether said uniform is mandated by the employer, it is simply practical, or it becomes a matter of identity, the fact is that such a uniform exists in most cases. Israel is no different in this regard; Continue Reading »

Atmosphere

Posted on October 23, 2011 by Shibley

In our efforts to try and find spirituality and deep connections in prayer often lead us to take t’fillah very seriously. Generally, that is a practice which I would commend, and even recommend, since it would theoretically allow us to block out distractions and concentrate solely on our relationship with Gd. Perhaps the best example Continue Reading »

Sukkot

Posted on October 14, 2011 by Shibley

Immediately following Yom Kippur, the hammer blows could be heard echoing behind my building. I was mightily surprised when I heard those construction noises following a fast, “who could be working now?” I thought, before realizing we had begun the transition to Sukkot. All over town sukkot of all varieties began popping up on sidewalks, Continue Reading »

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