These and Those

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

Archive: February 2012

Innocent Until Proven Amalek

Posted on February 28, 2012 by Barer

To the consternation of many around the world, there has been heightened tension around talk of some sort of war starting between Israel/US and Iran.  With Parshat Zachor only a few days from being read in shuls (synagogues) around the world, it would behoove all of us to consider what kind of relationship we wish Continue Reading »

[Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast] Terumah 5772

Posted on February 24, 2012 by Barer

In this week’s podcast, James talks about the Sfat Emet’s commentary on the parsha. Terumah 5772 Shabbat Shalom!


Posted on February 24, 2012 by Barer

This week’s parsha is chalk-full of measurement details for the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), which leaves little room for inspirational lessons.  Fortunately for me, the Rashbam took this opportunity to answer one of my long-standing questions – when does the Rashbam feel it necessary to add his own commentary and when is he happy Continue Reading »

Egalitarianism in Judaism

Posted on February 21, 2012 by Barer

Many of us who fall under the label ‘modern liberal Jew’  view women’s role (or lack thereof) in traditional Judaism to be a serious affront to our notions of egalitarianism.  ‘How can it be’ we ask, ‘that anyone could live in a Western democracy in the 21st century and subject women to secondary-citizen status in Continue Reading »

[Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast] Mishpatim 5772

Posted on February 17, 2012 by Barer

On this week’s podcast, Meesh discusses one of the more controversial laws introduced in Mishpatim, that of “an eye for an eye” Mishpatim 5772


Posted on February 17, 2012 by Barer

In a parsha full of laws, a mere few verses of which are the basis of years worth of Gemarah study (Seder Nezikin), I came across an episode having nothing to do with the minutiae of laws that I do not remember reading before.  Near the end of the parsha, there is a scene described where Continue Reading »

[Student Profile] Joseph Shamash

Posted on February 15, 2012 by Barer

Joseph is a Persian Cowboy.  He was born in Dallas, Texas to immigrant parents from Iran.  He and his older brother David attended the Akiba Academy of Dallas, an Orthodox day school, through Joseph’s middle school years.  When he was eleven, Joseph’s parents decided to move to LA to be closer to family, where he Continue Reading »

[Pardes From Jerusalem Podcast] Yitro 5772

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Barer

In this week’s podcast, Michael Hattin talks about the central event of the parsha, the giving and receiving of the Torah. Yitro 5772


Posted on February 10, 2012 by Barer

This week’s parsha, among a few other things that regularly and justifiably receive less attention, contains the עשרת הדברות (never called any title in the text itself), somewhat loosely translated as the Ten Commandments (more literal would be the Ten Utterances).  What stood out to me reading them this year was the conditional nature of Continue Reading »


Posted on February 8, 2012 by Barer

On Sunday (which is not the weekend here) I attended the protest written about and filmed here (you can see me in the background).  As the first real protest I have ever attended, I think what I found most striking was that it was not in a country in which I have citizenship.  In some Continue Reading »