These and Those

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

Stress, Self-Reflection, and Beard Shaving

Posted on November 3, 2012 by Stuart Matan Lithwick

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As posted on

Hello everyone! Shmatan here again.

As always, here is the cat count as it stands on November 2, 2012

Drumroll please…..


Yes, these are 64 unique cats that I have observed, while walking around the beautiful city of Jerusalem. I have not discriminated based upon beauty, fur colour, size, or age. All cats, no matter their background, have been included, hopefully only once each.

So much has happened since my last blog post! I came into possession of a saxophone for the year, I read Torah for the first time since coming to Israel, I learned that I may be related to one of my fellow Pardesniks, and I even made it to the shuk (This is the true place for deals my friends, and everything can be bargained down). But most of all it has been a period of a lot of self-reflection.

It has been a pretty stressful time around Pardes over the last few weeks. I am not sure exactly why it has felt this way, but it just seems like lots of people have been feeling pretty worn out, me included. I’ll bet that coming from a period in which there were Chagim every week to a time when there is solid class could be a contributing factor. I feel really grateful for the great friends that have helped me through the last few weeks. It is nice to know that you have friends that support you.

I would say the biggest change this week is the fact that today, I completely shaved off my beard, down to the last hair. According to the founder of Movember, to be truly legitimate, once must start growing their moustaches from scratch, ie. no hair whatsoever. So I thought, if I am going to do this, let’s do it right! So here I am, beardless, slightly chilled, and ready to grow the best ‘stache’ anyone has ever seen. It is for a good cause, so it is worth the feeling of looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself for a second!

That is all she wrote for now ladies and gentlemen, but I promise that there is more to come, and sooner rather than later.

Take care everybody!

Shmatan signing off.