My skit from the Purim Shpiel. Script is included below the video.
Dan Brill (Year ’09-’10) shares his new Purim rap,
called ‘Straight Outta Shushan’
Please enjoy this Dvar Torah by Mordechai Rackover (PEP '03)!
Mordechai Rackover is a Pardes Alum, a member of the PEP 3rd Cohort. He currently lives in Providence, RI with his wife Nechama Lea and their four kids. He is the associate university chaplain for the Jewish community of Brown University and the Rabbi of the Brown RISD Hillel Foundation He can be reached at mrackover at gmail dot com or on twitter @mrackover
The Book of Esther, the Megillah, was my first Biblical love. I had opportunity to delve into it as a McGill undergrad prior to my first yeshiva experiences and discovered that it is a brilliant text. The Megillah is balanced and suspenseful, sacred and absent of God, deadly serious and filled with [ribald] humor. In this short essay I want to show that an essential factor in the reading of the stories of the Megillah is the obedience and disobedience of the characters. We have been trained, as it were, to look for obedient God-fearing Biblical characters as role-models. But, a closer reading, will show that disobedience is often a critical positive shaper of the unfolding biblical narrative.
As children we were taught that the Megillah was full of women. There was, after all, a beauty pageant; Miss, soon to be Mrs, Persia! These were all the beauties of the land. As we’ve grown up we have come to understand that these women were exploited, afraid and pressed into a demeaning service wherein you could only gain notoriety by being the most memorable purveyor of sexual favors to a lecherous king. Continue reading
From my blog:
The important thing to remember is to not make yourself afraid at all
Somehow this song, always comes back to me. In times that i least expect it….
I first came across this song at Jewish sleep away camp, singing it on the top top of my little lungs
Kol Ha’olam kulo
Gesher Tsar me’od.
Veha’ikar – veha’ikar
Lo lefached -
lo lefached klal.
The whole world
is a very narrow bridge -
And the main thing to recall -
is not to be afraid -
not to be afraid at all.
But I am not sure I really understood the song. Continue reading
Dan (Year '10) shared the following reflection on Facebook... his writing is poignant as usual!
Dear MLK: from one flawed human being to another flawed human being who changed the world – how did you do it? How did you see a different reality when others said there’s no chance that it will come true? Did you lean on others at that moment? Maybe you trusted your faith?
Every year I see your “I have a dream” speech on your birthday. God, how you believed in that dream, and hundreds of thousands of people believed in it with you, and together you changed the world, and I grew up in a reality in the United States that now has an African American president, a reality that you didn’t get to see, but bequeathed to us.
I’m also formulating a dream. Continue reading
The first time that I heard about contra dance, I was a sophomore in college and just taking the first baby steps towards having a social life with people my own age. It was described to me as a “really fun and really easy social dance, everyone should go.” I subsequently managed to find an excuse to not go every time someone asked, primarily because I didn’t like that group of people enough to drive an hour both ways on a school night.
The next year, at a different school and more inclined to talk to people instead of reading in every spare moment, I heard that there was a contra dance on campus. Since the idea had never been unappealing and I didn’t have to drive anywhere, I walked over to our community hall to try it out. Continue reading