These and Those

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

Beautiful Jerusalem

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Yuliya Mazur

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Jerusalem is a place I dream about, a place I begin to yearn for as soon as I am back home (?) from it.
I had planned my study at Pardes long ago, thanks to Yaffa Epstein; and that’s when I wrote this little verse:
Seeing you in my dreams
Craving your warm embrace
Hoping to see you soon,

Now that I am here staying at a lovely place in Arnona, I feel the need to say a blessing of Sheheheianu every morning I walk the streets to school. Here, the apartments do not have faceless numbers, but invite you to “mishpachat Nisim”, “mishpachat Yanovsky”, “mishpachat Kreisberg”. Here, every house has a tiny garden, flowers and trees are everywhere, and you forget that you are less than an hour away from the desert. Here, the very air is different.

On the streets leisurely strolling in the light evening breeze I see men with black kippot, men with knitted kippot or without them, women in short skirts with bare shoulders and women covered up more than I am. And I’m loving it, feeling as if there is no tension In the world, where all of us are brothers and sisters.

Yesterday I was having dinner with people I would have otherwise never met – much to the left of me on both political and religious spectra. And I am loving it. I hope they see a person In me as much as I see a person in each of them. We are one family, we all came here to Pardes, to Jerusalem from different countries, views, obligations. We all want to be closer to each other.
In school I dive into the words of Torah, listening to ones that know much more and much less. I am amazed at the knowledge of our teachers, mostly yonger than me. I wish I could so easily understand every word. Maybe one day?

Here I am – Gd gave me this chance, I am thankful to the brim. I am planning my next summer here. Is there any greater gift?