These and Those

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

(Im)perfect Together

Posted on January 21, 2014 by Taylor Winfield

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1184753_10153160268490624_1567452141_nI found this Jerusalem Bible sitting on the hefker table without a cover or binding. It just sat there distressed, pages falling out, looking for a new home. I knew that I could not let this bible be buried. I had to find a way to fix it. I stood for a minute and let my creative juices take over. Cardboard! I scavenged around the arts and crafts cupboard and found some left over cardboard from the Scribal Arts course. “Perfect!” I thought, “Now I just have to make it stick.” I found a stapler and stapled the cardboard to the small amount of binding that was left. Yet, I knew the book was not safe. The staples were flimsy and the cover could fall off at any moment. I could not find any glue but miraculously, someone gave me the idea – Ducktape! I ducktaped the inside papers of the book to the binding and then the cover to first pages. And it stuck! The chumash was useable again! _0206I cut out some more scribal arts cardboard and made a star of David for the front. The decorations were complete. I ran around Pardes showing everyone the book, feeling an incredible amount of fulfillment. I had given this book another life. The book could keep teaching Torah.

Today, as I start Chumash Bet, I am excited to use this special Jerusalem Bible as my study partner. Though it may look a little ragged, it has the material within it that I need to learn. Its appearance reminds me that it is okay to make mistakes and that nothing has to be (or is) perfect. It has a history and so do I. It has helped countless students learn Torah and now it will help me. I cannot wait to embark on this journey together.