From my Instagram:
What if we were all self absorbed and never helped one another? Could you imagine never grasping a hand if you stumbled, or borrowing a bit of money in a pinch. What would our world look like if we never supported each other? Emotionally. Financially. Physically. Spiritually. Would you ever feel empowered or strong? In this week’s double Parsha Behar / Behukotai it says
If your brother becomes destitute and his hand falters beside you, you shall support him [whether] a convert or a resident, so that he can live with you.וְכִי יָמוּךְ אָחִיךָ וּמָטָה יָדוֹ עִמָּךְ וְהֶחֱזַקְתָּ בּוֹ גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב וָחַי עִמָּךְ
To support him
The Torah uses the word החזקת to describe support. Not help, or fix, or take care of. We are talking about support, with the word חזק (hazak) seen inside the Hebrew. Hazak is strength. We are being instructed to strengthen our brother when he falters. Note, that it is not when he has fallen. For we should be aware and Continue reading
This email is to send a huge huge huge thank you for all of your generous contributions towards the Namutumba Jewish community. In total, we raised 900 dollars (!!!!!), to help support the community! The money is going to contribute to full and complete seders, as well as to the education fund of the community. It really is a huge and meaningful contribution.
Here is a thank you note from the community leader, Shadrach Mugoya:
Dearest sisters and brothers,
I am taking great thanks to you and all the friends who contributed towards making our Seder colourful, and towards tuition. Indeed,thank you so much. I ask Hashem Baruch to reward you abundantly. We are going to have a nice Seder, but all this, is your effort. We could not have a nicer one if you did not help and support us. Continue reading
Literally running into (or rather, alongside of) DLK‘s team of 10k Jerusalem Marathon route walkers this past Friday morning reminded me all over again of the thrill that was the morning of March 1st – the Jerusalem Marathon. Although I do have to say that as beautiful as the walk must have been a week later on such a glorious day, I was very happy to wake up to a cloudy morning on the day of the race. The chillier the weather, the less chance there is of an unhappy stomach during a run.
As I told DLK and some other listeners by the coffee station last week, I have never done anything in my life about which people were still talking excitedly so many days later. I’ve realized what was so novel to me about this reaction: I do not remember a time where I have been widely congratulated for something I did physically, not mentally or academically.
Daniel Shibley (Year '11, Fellows '12) blogs honestly and openly about his thoughts on being drafted into the Israeli Defense Forces after making Aliyah:
Building of the Mishkan takes center stage in the parasha this week. Moshe asks the Israelites to give to the construction project, to sacrifice some of their personal property for a common goal. He does not place specific demands upon the Israelites, instead asking that they give as they are so inclined. Obviously there are both strengths and weaknesses to this fundraising strategy. What would have Moshe have done if there was insufficient materials? Fundraisers the world over no doubt cope with this reality on a daily basis, which is why we often hear speeches in American synagogues on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah asking us to turn down tabs on an index card to indicate the exact amount of our pledge or Israel Bonds purchase. Continue reading
Hello Pardes Friends!
I’m writing to you guys in preparation for the Passover Seder, to present an opportunity for doing a really special mitzvah, and to share a unique Pesach experience that I had in East Africa.
Two years ago, I had a far-from-trypical pesach seder.
It took place far away, in a remote and extremely impoverished village called Namutumba, which is one of the Abayudaya Jewish communities in Uganda. The experience was intense, powerful, and eye opening… The seder meal was eaten on benches and on the floor. The meal was one bowl of rice, which people stuffed into bags to save for the following day. There was little available water for Rachtzah, so people pretended to wash their hands in the air. The seder plate had an egg and karpas, the rest of the plate was bare. One box of matzah was shared between 75 people.
It seemed crazy to me, to be celebrating freedom in a place without basic human rights of food, water, education etc., yet the Jews of Namutumba celebrated freedom with such passion and love and kavannah. They reflected on their relatively newfound freedom from religious oppression (Jewish were trageted under Idi Amin), they celebrated their freedom to be Jewish. Continue reading
My current ‘stache ranks somewhere between Burt Reynolds and what our Dean Dr. Bernstein will look like if we raise $1800 between now and Hanukkah.
Well, how much would you donate to great causes to see it happen?
In honor of mens’ health, Pardes students throughout the month of November have been grooming themselves with super classy and in some cases, rather creepy mustaches for the Livestrong Foundation and Movember. David has agreed to join the cause!
Here’s the challenge…if you choose to accept it!
If the Pardes community raises at least $1,800 between now and the end of Hanukah, Dean Bernstein has agreed to shave his beloved salt and pepper beard during community lunch on December 20th and will keep the resulting handsome mustache for 1 week.
How do you get involved and participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity?
It’s simple, make a donation to either Movember or Pardes noted “DAVID BERNSTEIN’S MUSTACHE” and David will be sporting a ‘stache in no time!
We can all thank his wife Ricki for graciously and enthusiastically agreeing to live with David’s smooth face for the week.
From The 2012 Pardes Movember Crew
My current ‘stache ranks somewhere between the late Walter Cronkite and (l’havdil) John Stossel:
My current ‘stache ranks somewhere between Grover’s perpetually disappointed customer Mr. Johnson and Gomez Addams:
Conversation of the Movember so far:
MAN 1: I wish I could grow a mustache.
WOMAN 1: Just close your eyes and concentrate!
[they try it.]
MAN 1: I don’t think it’s working.
ME: That’s because you’re not doing it right. You have to close your eyes and think about Freddy Mercury.
[WOMAN 1 tries it]
WOMAN 1: Scary things happen when I do that..