Yesterday was a special day at Pardes. Not because Meir was roaming the halls with a mass of students, singing at the top of his lungs, although that was part of it. Not because there was dancing in the beit midrash, although that was part of it as well. The occurrences above, while special, have been seen from time to time at Pardes before.
But, this time, the spirited nigunnim sung in the halls and the circle dancing in the middle of the beit midrash were in celebration and commemoration of a Hachnasat Sefer Torah, the welcoming in of a Torah that was given to the Pardes community. This sefer torah was brought into our community with a number of meaningful rituals: It was brought, under the shade of a tallit, to every classroom where Torah was being learned that morning; it was escorted through the halls in which endless conversations referencing the impact of Torah study can be heard; and it was passed, from person to person, around the beit midrash, out to Continue reading →
Passing and imprinting on and from the new Pardes Sefer Torah
Today at Pardes, we had the honour and the pleasure of dancing our new sefer Torah, (donated in honour of a recent Bat Mitzvah) around the school. We heard lovely divrei Torah from Pardes student, Dr. Aileen Heinberg and from Rav Landes. There was some mention made of the fact that a Hachnasat Sefer Torah is a brit and like at a brit milah, we stand for the ritual. Later, when we passed the Torah from one person to the next, I was reminded of a brit milah I attended years ago where the baby was passed from one family member to the next as he was brought into the room. Continue reading →
“So I was walking down the sidewalk one day, and a bus hit me in the head.” Such are the stories you hear at a lunch table in Israel. But we’ll come back to that.
In more recent news, I just finished celebrating my first day of Pesach in Israel. And let me tell you, the matzah here is amazing. Israelis actually spend a good portion of the pesach seder laughing about the fact that Americans still haven’t discovered the conspiracy that makes American matzah taste like dusty wood chips. They call it “מבצע ביצה” (Operation Egg) in code.
So many meanings at this time of year!
For the first (and only) seder, I went to the house of one of my Pardes teachers. The seder was absolutely wonderful; it was Continue reading →
X-posted from Foodist Jerusalem,
Written by Anna Melman (Year ’05, Fellows ’06)
This is a great blog to follow if you're looking for
good food in Jerusalem!
Eucalyptus’s deal is that they only serve foods indigenous to the land of Israel. I had been once before, back in 2006 when my dad was visiting, when the restaurant was located in the Russian Compound and I desperately wanted to like interesting food but stuck with the chicken. The restaurant has since moved to Hutzot HaYotzer, and my palate has matured (thank you, well-bred husband). In the past year or two, a number of friends have gone and have offered reviews ranging from “best meal of my life” to “really good” to “not bad but it’s always empty there” to “really weird.” So we weren’t totally sure what to expect. Continue reading →
Stef (Year ’07, PEP ’07-’09) and Matt (Year ’07) celebrate
Purim in Haifa!
Purim is here! Which means lots of dressing up in costumes. In many cultures there seems to be at least one calendar day dedicated to dressing up in costumes: Holloween, Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, Carnival in Brazil, and Purim here in Israel. The one thing these days, among others I’m sure, have in common is that we all get to pretend to be something we’re not.
I personally love to get dressed up, Matt less so. But Matt did some of his own “dressing up” this week as his Maritime Survey Methods class went out on a boat, and Matt had to wear a wet-suit.
In the course the students learned how to locate, map out and excavate archaeological sites, both on land and underwater. This was great for Matt because his absolute favorite thing to do is go on boats! (read that last sentence with the heaviest sarcasm you can muster). Continue reading →
We went to the Kotel (Western Wall) to pray this morning for Rosh Hodesh Adar. It started last night organizing taxis for everyone from Pardes who wanted to go. This morning, I woke up at 5:30…I made the decision to wrap my arm tefillin and wear my coat over it. I wrapped it until my wrist, so under my coat it couldn’t be seen going through security. I put my Rosh (head) tefillin in my inside jacket pocket.
I met three other people from Pardes at 6:30am to get a taxi to the Kotel. We waited in line at security. They took my tallit and wouldn’t let me enter with it. They also took my empty tefillin bag. They didn’t know that it was already on my body. Honestly, I didn’t want them for protesting. I lay tefillin every morning, and it’s difficult for me to daven shacharit (the morning prayers) without tefillin now. There is a connection that comes with the tefillin. There is also a connection with the tallit, but as I told the reporters after they took my tallit, I want to pray at the Kotel, that’s why I came, so I’m willing to give up my tallit to be able to pray there on Rosh Hodesh. Continue reading →
One thing that is very real lately at Pardes is the Jewish life cycle; particularly, the end. Last week many students traveled to Alon Shvut to support Zvi Hirschfield at the funeral of his father. And just last night, many students and people from the community gathered in the Beit Midrash for an azkara or a type of “remembering” of Janet Robbin.
Janet Robbin was the mother of Sheryl Robbin, Rav Daniel Landes’ wife. Rav Landes is the Rosh Yeshiva at Pardes. Janet Robbin was also the grandmother of Hannah and Isaac Landes who I have become close with over the past year and a half at Pardes because the Landes’ always invite students to their home for Shabbat and holidays. If you have never met anyone of the Landes’, all I can say is that they are all lovely and unique, each with their own wonderful qualities. Continue reading →
In this weeks parsha, Beshalach, one of the most famous events in all of the Tanakh occurs when God splits the Red Sea through the staff of Moses, allowing the Israelites to finally escape the centuries-long enslavement in Egypt and become a free people.
The result of their freedom is that the Israelites break into song, “The Song by the Sea”. This is very unusual, as only ten songs existed from the time of Creation to the end of the Biblical period. One explanation for this song is that it was a rare moment in which the people were able to make sense of how all of the daily, seemingly disconnected events in the world existed for a purpose and understand how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit into place. This manifested itself in song because the Torah’s concept of song is the situation in which “all the apparently unrelated and contradictory phenomena do indeed meld into a coherent, merciful, comrehensible whole” (Artscroll). Finally, at that moment when they saw the sea split, the exile and slavery in Egypt, Pharoah’s constant deception, and demands from the Israelites to return to slavery not only made sense, but were understood as absolutely necessary.
My splitting of the sea occurred this past Saturday night, when I finally Continue reading →