Some of our recent PEP graduates posted their graduation speeches (divrei Torah) here on Th&Th… in no particular order: Joanne Loiben, Esther DuBow, Sam Blumberg, R. Julie Gordon, Jessie Gindea, Cheryl Stone, & Daniel Weinreb. Also, here is the video of Cohort 11′s graduation:
By Daniel Weinreb, PEP ’12
“It’s so appropriate that we are in this week’s parsha…”
Really? I’m skeptical. In fact, when I hear that phrase in a d’var Torah I fluff up the shoulder next to me and hit the snooze button. Why? Because I anticipate I am about to get a contrived connection between this week’s parashah and some contemporary or personal event.
So to allay your fears, today I’m justifying my d’var employs proto-midrash, also called intertextuality. Intertextuality is an approach I learned from Baruch Feldstern, my teacher. I could call it an inversive, or reversive sequel, a la gaon Judy Klitsner. The concept is that Tanakh drashes on itself. Continue reading
By Cheryl Stone, PEP ’12
June 4, 2012
When I began contemplating what I would write, I went in search of the perfect ‘teacher quote’ and found this:
אם יהיו כל השמים יריעות וכל האילנות קולמוסין וכל המים דיו, אין כדי לכתוב את חכמתי שלמדתי מרבי: ולא אצלתי מחכמת חכמים אלא כשם שזבוב הזו הטובלת בים הגדול ומשהו מחסרו.
מסכת סופרים טז:ח
If all the heavens were sheets [of parchment], all the trees pens, and all the seas ink, they would not suffice to record the wisdom that I acquired from my masters; and yet I drew of their wisdom no more than a fly, dipping a foot in the Great Sea diminishes the sea of the tiniest drop.
By Jessie Gindea, PEP ’12
What an evening this is. As I look around this Beit Midrash, surrounded by my brilliant teachers, my esteemed colleagues, and all of the people who have effected my experience in the last two years, it seems only natural to turn to psalms 133, verse 1: “Hiney mah tov umah na’im shevet achim gam yachad.” Because we are in an all-inclusive and non-coercive environment, I will take a bit of license with the original quote and translate the Hebrew with somewhat more gender-sensitivity than the psalmist: How good and pleasant it is for brothers and SISTERS to sit together.
In reflecting on my time at Pardes, I realized that some of my most important moments were Continue reading
By Rabbi Julie Gordon, PEP ’12
Soon we will leave the security of Pardes’ Beit Midrash where if we had a question or wanted to study a text, there was always a teacher or a student interested in helping, guiding and learning with us. We all know there is so much more to learn. When I feel overwhelmed by the massive tomes yet unexplored, I am inspired by these words from the Torah:
יא) כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לֹא נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא:
Moshe spoke to the children of Israel: “Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond your reach. Continue reading
By Sam Blumberg, PEP ’12
Over the last three years at Pardes, I have learned a ton. I’ve learned Torah, Talmud, Mishna, pedagogy, philosophy– all things that I knew little about before my time in the Pardes Educators Program.
But I didn’t come here to learn. I came here to teach.
In the thirteenth chapter of Yevamot, it is stated כל האומר אין לו אלא תורה, אין לו אלא תורה — one who says that he will only learn Torah and not put it into action receives only the merit for learning it. This is quickly rejected.
אפילו תורה אין לו–– כל שישנו בעשיה, ישנו בלמידה. כל שאינו בעשיה, אינו בלמידה.
In fact, one only receives the merit from Continue reading
By Esther DuBow, PEP ’12
Daniel Weinreb, you are truly a scholar and a gentleman and having you as a colleague these past two years has been wonderful. I want that “sugya” you wrote for closing lunch. In return, I’ll give you a copy of our spiel, (PAUSE) assuming there are some left that weren’t burned in protest.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and give hakarat hatov:
- To Hebrew College, an institution with a mission of pluralism that Continue reading
By Joanne Loiben, PEP ’12
Writer’s block. How can I sum up these past 3 years into a neat little 3 minute Dvar Torah? The memories, the moments, the worlds that once existed on this 3rd floor hidden paradise. The teachers, the knowledge, the learning, the constant flow of engaging conversations. Who I was 3 years ago is not exactly who I am today, and I have Pardes to thank for that. I came not knowing what to expect, packing up my bags after college graduation and landing at Ben Gurion, without even so much as an address in Jerusalem, or a phone number to dial to let someone know I have arrived. I am leaving a confident and Continue reading