Shabbat Shalom Pardes. I wanted to share a portion of my Dvar torah that I am giving to my Shul tonight…
Last week as my facebook followers know I was standing on a mountain over the dead sea welcoming the Sabbath at a meditation retreat. If I close my eyes I can still feel that crisp dry air and see the warmth of the Negev. This Shabbat I am here with open eyes looking out into the warmth of my CBTBI Synagogue family. I flew in on the 25th because last week I received a call from the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Donation center saying that I was a match to donate peripheral stem cells to a 56 year old women with leukemia. As my dad beautiful pointed out, My last trip to the states was for a death and now with one is for a life. My brother is also a match for her or another patient. It is amazing to me to share in the mitzvah of saving a life with my brother. No matter who ends up doing the donation the fact that we are both dedicated and ready to do as they need is a huge life changing mitzvah. We both signed up to be in the Gift of Life registry while on Birthright together. I think I speak for both of us when I say that while having our cheek swabbed and signing our name we didn’t exactly think down the line to actually being matched to save someone’s life. Gift of life helps to match Jews who are in need of bone marrow or stem cells and don’t have a family member that matches them to donate. We are in the national registry as well but Gift of life facilitates the matching of the Jewish community because of the higher chances of matching a fellow Jew because of our shared origins. We are keeping the patient in our prayers and hoping that one of us will be able to help her and her family as we would hope someone would be there to helps our if needed. I would love to discuss the process and how you can also sign up for the registry with you if you would like more information.
While I am plugging life changing organizations I want to take a moment to tell you about where it is I am studying in Israel. I am receiving my masters in Jewish education at Pardes Institute of Jewish learning. I live in an apartment in Jereusalem and study in a yeshiva style everyday at pardes. My time there so far has taught me so much about myself and my abilities. I study Talmud and Torah with some of the most learned rabbi’s in Jerusalem. They each have a unique teaching style and all encourage personal interpretation to our ancient texts. I also would love to talk to you about my time there and about the varying programs that they offer for all ages and levels.