These and Those

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

Thanks for The Marilyn and Sigi z”l Ziering Omer Program 2018/5778

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Mark S. Cohen

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I am taking this opportunity to extend to the entire Pardes faculty and staff my appreciation for the great experience that I had during this past month participating in the Pardes Community Education Omer Program. Especially working full-time “in the States”, the timing worked out perfectly, enabling me to learn in the mornings, and then work in the afternoon.

More substantively, I found, as is always the case, the Pardes faculty to be superb. Getting a “good seat” to hear the wisdom of Rav Shai Finkelstein requires one to get to class very early, and the experience is certainly worth the extra effort. Rav Shai has a remarkable way of analyzing the halacha from both traditional and modern perspectives, leading to dynamic discussions and sending participants out of the room thinking about current issues from different perspectives.

Rav Alex Israel’s course on the Ten Commandments enabled me to approach these “pillars of Judaism” from new vantage points. Learning with Rav Alex is truly an enjoyable experience. Similarly, Michael Hattin brings a fresh approach to learning Torah, and, not only is the “lunch and learn” with Michael great “food for thought”, but I enjoy my favorite lunch of the week at Pardes! Michael’s analysis of the weekly portion, and this past week’s discussion of the structure and outline of the entire book of BaMidbar, enabled me to understand the text from different approaches, and I find myself quoting from this class each Shabbat.

Finally, I gained a great deal of knowledge from the course on the Lubovitcher Rebbe given by Gideon Sylvester. I particularly enjoyed learning about not only the Rebbe’s biographical information, but also his writings and approaches to modern issues.

To summarize, The Marilyn and Sigi z”l Ziering Omer Program 2018/5778 was a great success and I look forward to participating again next year! Meanwhile, on to the Summer Program!

MARK S. COHEN (Pardes Summer Program Alumnus 1991 and 2016, Community Education Participant), Jerusalem, Israel and West Hempstead, New York

Click here to watch highlights of the Community Education Omer Program.