These and Those

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

[Guest Post] Jewish Studies, a Poem by Abraham Leibson

Posted on October 17, 2013 by The Director of Digital Media

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aleibsonverizonnetEarly in 2013 my wife Sharon and I visited Israel for the first time. We rented an apartment in Jerusalem (Rehavia), and used it as a base to explore as much as we could in one month. I had prepared a long list of objectives and almost all of the objectives were achieved.

One of my goals included visiting Pardes. I had only in recent years learned about the Pardes concepts, learned about the existence of the Pardes Institute, and decided to visit and sit in on a few classes. Doing so became one of the many joyous highlights of our Israel visit.

I took many photographs, but struggled as to how best explain the power of our Israel visit to others back home in New Jersey. I determined that poetry combined with photographs would be a concise vehicle. I prepared a booklet of 12 poems titled Impressions of Israel. The poem shown (poem 9) disclosed the sense of personal discovery, the excitement I felt in seeing a vibrant life of study, and the respect I gained in seeing the flourishing of ideas into the lives of young leaders.

Abraham Leibson
Lambertville, New Jersey

Jewish Studies

For most of my life I did not know
that Torah contains nuggets of knowledge,
not just punitive rules

I did not understand that Torah is
best served up by wise teachers
with joy and compassion

P2-150The Torah can be an enigma –
searing stories
needing interpretation of
countless human failings –

to find redemptive meaning
in biblical narratives

picforpoemthus allowing the human imagination
to ponder issues of today,
see creatively, deeply, divinely

In this Jerusalem school
students search for what endures,
a quest to relate to one’s inner life
with the life of our
turbulent world…

to find justice
reverence for life

Abraham Leibson
July 8, 2013
Israel series, Poem 9