These and Those

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

Archive: November 2011

[Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast] Chayei Sarah 5772

Posted on November 18, 2011 by Barer

Check out this week’s Pardes podcast about Avraham’s status as both a stranger and a resident in Cana’an Chayei Sarah

חיי שרה

Posted on November 17, 2011 by Barer

This week’s parsha, with bookends describing the death of Sarah and the other descendents of Avraham and the descendents Yishma’el, deals mainly with the mission of Avraham’s servant to find a wife for Yitzchak. Reading the text, I was struck by how repetitive the story is. First, Avraham tells his servant what to do in Continue Reading »

[Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast] Vayera 5772

Posted on November 11, 2011 by Barer

Check out this week’s Pardes podcast, featuring Neima Novetsky speaking about the famous conversation Avraham has with Hashem about sparing the fate of Sdom and Amora Vayera 5772


Posted on November 10, 2011 by Barer

This week’s parsha is chalk-full of troubling stories, from the Akieda, arguably the most challenging section of the Torah, to the destruction of Sdom and Amorah, to the episode of Lot and his daughters.  What caught my attention while reading the parsha, though, was a subtler play on language related to rhetorical questions.  There are Continue Reading »

Rabbi Julie’s Theology Presentation

Posted on November 9, 2011 by Barer

This is PEP student Rabbi Julie Gordon‘s presentation on her theological views presented today in Zvi’s Critical Issues in Modern Jewish Thought class, responding to the following questions: Where does the Torah come from?  What is God’s role, if any?  And how do you deal with the challenges of biblical criticism? What authority does the Continue Reading »

[Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast] Lech Lecha 5766

Posted on November 4, 2011 by Barer

This week on the podcast, we hear from Rav Landes as he discusses the beginning of Avram‘s journey – don’t forget the handout if you are listening. Lech Lecha 5766

לך לך

Posted on November 3, 2011 by Barer

This week’s parsha contains many famous and thought-provoking stories, but I would like to focus on what I see as an emerging motif in the Rashbam, where he criticizes his grandfather’s reading of a verse before offering an alternate interpretation which he sees as sticking more closely to the pshat, the simple reading of the Continue Reading »

[Fellows Dvar Torah] Pluralism

Posted on October 31, 2011 by Barer

[This is a slightly emended version of the D’var Torah I gave to the Fellows last week:] “We have benedictions for all occasions…And on beholding a Jewish audience [of 600,000 or more] the Talmud [Berachot 58a] prescribes a special benediction: [“Baruch chacham harazim sh’ein da’atam dome zeh la’zeh v’ein partzufeihen domim zeh la’zeh”]  Blessed is Continue Reading »

[Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast] Noach 5769

Posted on October 29, 2011 by Barer

Did you know that there is a Pardes podcast? There is!  And it’s called Pardes from Jerusalem, featuring weekly audio podcasts by Pardes Faculty members about the weekly parsha. For the parsha that just ended, we have Rav Meir talking about the Dor Haflaga – the Tower of Babel story: Noach 5769


Posted on October 28, 2011 by Barer

The end of this week’s parsha, like last week’s, details the lineages leading to the main protagonists of Bereishit, mainly those of Noach’s children.  Unsurprisingly, for those who know the story that comes next, the lineages rush through the generations in between Noach and Avram and then slow down just in time to talk about Continue Reading »