These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Foundation (reflections of a returning student)

Posted on September 19, 2010 by David Bogomolny

Tags: , , , , ,

Several days ago,  I had a conversation with an incoming student at Pardes, and she asked me about my feelings towards halakha & Judaism, which gave me new cause to reflect upon last year.

In addition to developing practical skills in Jewish text study & Jewish traditional observance, I also spent much of last year striving for spiritual equilibrium… working to understand my pull towards G-d & Jewish tradition… working to find personal meaning in Jewish observances & texts. This was a challenging process, and I tackled it proactively in my classes, and in my daily prayer & study.

My process is ongoing, but there was a steep slope before me last year, and the incline dropped gradually before me every day, as I climbed towards the peak…

Intellectually, I grew to better understand the resources available to me in the Beit Midrash, and I grew to better understand the breadth & depth of Jewish tradition and scholarship… entering this 2nd year, I feel very ready to continue my studies – and moreover, I feel empowered to direct them in a knowledgeable way that accounts for my goals, my needs, and my abilities.

Beyond this, I also feel empowered to account for my soul’s needs & strengths this year… and that may be the greatest gift that Pardes has given me.