These and Those

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

To feel at home: Shabbat in Turkey (Pardes Turkey trip 2018)

Posted on March 26, 2018 by Gavi Bernat-Kunin Kornsgold

Shabbat entered with a wonderful sense of familiarity. Again we were at the Etz HaHayim synagogue in Ortakoy, honored with co-leading and energizing Friday night services and dinner with our lively songs. Joining us was an Israeli dance group who we were going to see perform Saturday night at the Carmiel dance show! This was a particularly interesting dance group as it was started by individuals in wheelchairs wanting to dance. Having this dance delegation with us on Friday night nicely added to our singing of classic Israeli songs.

Shabbat day began with services leading into an extended Kiddush with ongoing Divrei Torah from our Pardes cohort. This was a beautiful blend of our Pardes learning infused with our experiences in the Turkish Jewish community. Each Davar Torah opened the stage for our Pardes classes to become practical, continuously thoughtful, and impactful. We could hear our different teachers and classes coming through in our interpreting of text, understanding of the Parasha and Pesach, and the way we were internalizing and processing our trip to Istanbul.

From Shabbat lunch until it was time for Mincha, we were graciously hosted by Rabbi Nafi Haleva and his family for an incredible meal full of more singing and Divrei Torah. We continued to bring our Pardes singing and teaching throughout the meal. We sang and learned with joy and love, along with a small amount of sadness as we knew our trip was soon coming to an end. This Shabbat was an incredible way bring Pardes to another community, while always learning and experiencing so much ourselves.