These and Those

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

Just a few words…

Posted on July 26, 2014 by Dara Rosenblatt

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From my blog, written before Shabbat:

darrosAs I enter my last Shabbat in Jerusalem before returning back to the United States on Monday, I find myself thinking and reflecting on the past two months in my life.

It was with great intention that I chose to come to Israel this summer, for personal, spiritual, and professional growth. I was traveling with the intention of figuring out what I see in my future, career-wise, Jewishly, etc. I wanted to focus on learning more Hebrew and immersing myself in intensive Jewish learning in a formal setting. This was accomplished.

It has been such a blessing for me to be in Israel and I’ve learned so much that the following paragraph won’t do it justice. (Thank you to Pardes for an amazing three weeks of learning!) I decoded passages of Talmud, learning some new and exciting Aramaic words. I studied Talmudic Personalities in a class in which the teacher really displayed to me what it means to be the most passionate and engaging educator you can be. I found new meaning in prayer through a thought-provoking and challenging class about the creation and understanding of the traditional Ashkenazi Orthodox liturgy. I listened to guest speakers, personal narratives, and heard new perspectives on a variety of topics. All of this, each and every bit, contributed to my experience in Israel this summer.

But, this was not everything that contributed to my experience this summer. There was a whole other dimension to living in Jerusalem this past month.

Moments of fear, sadness, and sorrow occurred each and every day. Even though these moments were often marked by tears, it was always followed by hugs and smiles of hope. The strength of the Jewish people coming together to support Israel has been and continues to be incredible.

When I sat in class this week, I asked questions. I thought deeply about the material being presented. But, I couldn’t help to think about the matzav (the situation). Where will we be going next? What does the next day, the next hour hold for us?

These questions were floating through my mind just as much as the texts were on the source sheets.

I pray for all who are on the front lines of the conflict, and I pray for peace among the nations.

Shabbat Shalom and sending hugs,

PS A longer blog post will hopefully be coming out when I return back to the states. Be on the lookout y’all, and as always thanks for reading 🙂