These and Those

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

Closing Lunch Poem – May 30, 2019

Posted on June 5, 2019 by Julia Laibstain

This poem was written by Julia Laibstain (PEEP ’18-’19) for the closing day lunch.


Machon Pardes, oh what a wonderful place!

The building may be old but let me tell you.. everyone’s always “holding space”


Start the week on sunday, rushing down to Rahel

And if one more person’s late, she just might yell


Before heading to the Beit Midrash, off to the coffee stand I go

Dean Bernstein is often close-by, greeting all students by name with a hello


Mina and Alden sit there waiting for me.. Because I’m the CHATTIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD

I stop to chat with Milli in the restroom and chef in the kitchen, giving his brownie batter spoon a twirl


Time to open my books.. Frank, Gemara card, and Rahel’s helpful sheets

And let me reassure you.. I am always sitting on one of the green seats


Down to shiur we go, hustling down the stairs

To learn with Rabbi Rahel, and let me tell you-  regarding the well-being of each one of us, she truly cares


Nevi’im with Michael.. Oh what a time!

Here’s the thing- last semester i had 2 and a half hours with him and this semester just 1 and a bit… and it feels like a crime!


Soft spoken, humble, and genius are some of the words I’d use to describe this man,

and by the way- did you know there’s a difference between toyvelling and kashering a pan


“Mincha!” shout the Gabbaim down the hall

Room 5 may be compact, but hey, at least I count and all


Sexuality and Sanctity, oh what a blast!

With the best Chabura, time goes by too fast


Rahel uses all of her efforts to be politically correct and hip

She is so genuine, passionate, and humble, this woman deserves a tip!


Monday morning rolls in and I head to room 3

Oh I’m running late again… It’s probably with chef that I’m being chatty


Before Beit Midrash time, you all know what’s next

Lchaims and singing with Rav Meir before we hop into the text


Iryna and I call Meir over to our table,

We start asking questions about Midrash and suddenly I’m not stable


Meir’s knowledge is so vast- does he really keep it all in his brain?!

Learning Chumash with him all year- what a lucky Julia Laibstain!


It’s 10:45 and Tony has only snarled at me 6 times

I must be on my best behavior, oh nope… he still wants to turn me into a mime


Time for Biblical Grammar- “sounds dry” one might say?

Well try learning with Howard about apocopation, energic nun and even mapik hay


Rabbi Howard Markose is beyond a master in my eyes

Teaching us the difference between shva nah, nach and even shva merachef in disguise!


His enthusiasm matches his precision and that most certainly is impressive

And oh by the way- have you heard of the jussive?


I see Zvi in the hallway and say, “I still miss having class with you!”

He’s all “you’re too kind” and I say “no, you!”


Another lunch time is here, so what does that call for?

A mental breakdown to Gail and Aviva regarding my future and what’s in store


I should be heading to Daniel Roth’s class now… But this time with Joanne I have the chatters

I finally make my way to room 4 and remember ah yes.. Machloket Matters!


Checking in with Penny and she wants to ensure my head is on straight

She Aviva and Gail have supported me in my full weight


Last but not least, we have night seder on deck!

Without the ethics of our fathers in my life, I think I’d be a wreck


There’s something so special about being in the Beit Midrash at night

Seeing as the rest of my Chabura will be across the sea next year, I guess each week I’ll be taking a flight


I really cannot articulate how much I will miss all of you

Whenever I’m long winded (always) you all have stayed with me through and through


This community is inspiring, supportive, and so so kind

I can absolutely guarantee that my formative experiences here will often be on my mind