These and Those

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

The Pardes Sunset Project – Evening of 11/13/2011

Posted on November 13, 2011 by Heligman

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Too often the shades of our life are drawn and God’s magnificent colors are missed.  I am taking on this project as a means to stop and enjoy God’s brilliance.  For the month of November, each day I will document the evening sunset from the Pardes Beit Midrash. I hope you will stop and notice with me. And I hope we can all share a moment of gratitude.

Today I am feeling gratitude for the natural world god created for us.  This past weekend I spent Shabbas camping with my dear friend Aliza in the Negev, hugging the dead sea and the mountains of Ein Gedi at my side. It was the first time I have been out of the city since arriving in the Israel and the time was cleansing. It was zen.  I am reminded of a beautiful idea that I read in Harold Kushner’s The Lord is My Shepherd. He talks about colors having different size waves.  For bright colors, like reds and yellows, the waves are longer, and hit the eyes with more strength.  These colors are exciting and therefore used by the modern world to blitz the consumer.  Dark colors, the blues, greens and browns have shorter waves and have a calming effect and strike the eye more gently.  God created his world in predominately calming colors, blue seas, green pastures, brown mountains, and I am so grateful for this. When working a long day or studying hard in the beit midrash, when stress starts to overtake us and we don’t even know why, we have a natural world that is there to center us. All it takes is the little “koach” to step outside.

Last Thursday I was not able to post since I was in the Negev, but the sunset was spectacular, painted with deep pinks slowly congealing into purples and blues as the night became stronger. Today’s sunset was less flashy, instead the sunset seemed to mold into the mountainscape, creating a peaceful unity to the evening.

Sunset from Pardes Beit Midrash – 11/13/2011, 4:59pm