These and Those

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

Issue of Hugs

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Andrea Wiese

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At Pardes, all my teachers are orthodox, which means they don’t touch people of the opposite gender. This doesn’t really seem to be an issue, except, I love my teachers! And sometimes, I really want to give them a hug. They are the best!! I can’t explain to you how wonderful they are as people, mentors, teachers, (sometimes they feel like parents, in a good way) and even friends. When I returned from student teaching it was so exciting to see all of them after two months away, but can I hug them? Not the male teachers! But I could hug the female teachers. And in a way this made their hugs even more meaningful. (Because I know they don’t pass them around frivolously) And to be honest, if I could only hug the male or the female teachers, I’m glad I get to hug the female teachers!! (No offense to any of the teachers!)

Last night we went to Gush Etzion to hike Derech HaAvot (the path of our forefathers) and then go to dinner at one of our teacher’s home.  Well, I had the honor of going to one of my favorite teachers’ home. (I had been there before for a Shabbat earlier in the year, so it wasn’t my first time meeting his wife and family.) And I got to hug his wife (who is amazing in her own right)!!!!!!!!!! And it was wonderful to express my gratitude and love to her. And I’m sure that my teacher knows how appreciative I am of his teaching and guidance without giving hugs, but it was still nice to be able to express it physically to her. Maybe it is more for me, that I want to express my appreciation, but whatever it is, it’s something to think about. And I was really happy to be able to hug her!